Painting and Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality can be fives times more polluted than outdoor air.

US Environmental Protection Agency

So, you’ve heard of seasonal allergies related to the outdoors but did you know the air in your space can be even more polluted? That’s right, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency indoor air quality can be five times more polluted than outdoor air. 

There are many materials, products, and finishes that affect indoor air quality but in this post we are going to focus on paint, as it’s one of the the simplest ways to transform a space and an essential part of any new build or renovation project. 

That Fresh Paint Smell and Indoor Air Quality

Have you every wondered what you’re actually smelling? Well, I hate to break it to you but it’s not roses. It’s actually the not so beautiful smell of  chemicals known as VOC’s – volatile organic compounds.

indoor air quality clare paint
Image from Clare

So you’re thinking you can wear protection while painting and after it dries you’re worry free right? Unfortunately VOC’s don’t go away when the paint dries, rather they off gas for years and years affecting indoor air quality. 

The Bad:

  • contributes to allergies
  • contributes to asthma
  • have been shown to be carcinogenic
  • can cause issues with the central nervous system
  • can cause headaches

Oh, and they’re not good for mother earth either. Oftentimes what affects us, affects the environment as well. VOC pollutants disrupt the ozone layer contributing to global warming and the greenhouse gas effect.

The Good: 

We learn as we live, just like lead paints, VOC paints will eventually be a thing of the past. Regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, VOC free paints will eventually be the norm. Until then we as consumers need to make informed decisions. 

So, what paint to use to promote healthy indoor air quality?

While Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, and other large brands are hopping on the eco-train right now we really love CLARE

clare paint
Image from Clare

The Benefits of Clare Paint: 

  • No hazardous pollutants or concerning chemicals
  • GREENGUARD gold certified meaning it was tested for more than 360 VOC’s and other hazardous chemicals
  • The company focuses on sustainability
  • They use recycled materials for products & shipping
  • They run an energy efficient factory that treats & recycles water for reuse

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