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Is paint toxic?

Posted by Victoria Yardley on

is paint toxic

One of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to paint is ‘is paint toxic’, and in short, the answer is yes - it can be. Fortunately, Victory Colours has come up with a solution to this by formulating a non toxic paint. In this article we are going to be discussing why paint is toxic and what makes our paint non toxic. 

Why is paint toxic?

Now that we have established that paint can be toxic, you might be wondering ‘why is paint toxic?’. The main reason is because most standard paints contain VOCs which stands for volatile organic compounds, these are usually solvents, such as Benzene and Toluene.

As the liquid begins to dry and evaporate, these harmful chemicals are released into the air which we can then inhale. There is extensive research surrounding VOCs and strongly suggests that they can cause a range of adverse side effects. Exposure to VOCs over time can lead to an increased chance of adverse medical issues, such as cancers, organ damage and damage to the central nervous system.

The harmful effects of VOCs affect those who are particularly sensitive to chemicals, like children, the elderly, people with sensitivities, asthma, and decorators.

Side effects 

The side effects of inhaling VOCs can vary from person to person and can depend on the length of time you are exposed to these chemicals and the environment i.e. whether the space is open or closed. Here are some of the most common side effects of VOCs:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness/light-headedness
  • Skin irritation
  • Nose, throat and eye irritation 

Is all paint toxic?

Although most standard wall paints do contain VOCs which effectively makes them toxic, there are ways to avoid the toxic fumes. If you do buy a paint that contains VOCs, we recommend ensuring that the room you paint is well ventilated with open windows and fan to disperse the toxic fumes. However, your best bet to avoid inhaling toxic fumes altogether is to invest in a high quality, non toxic paint. Victory Colours have created a special formula of ultra low VOC paint which makes it non toxic and therefore much safer for you to inhale. There a number of benefits of Victory Colours paints that go beyond it being non toxic such as:

The best part is that by creating a low VOC, toxic free paint, our paint allows users to avoid the nasty side effects often associated with a fresh lick of paint. One of them being the strong odour which is said to be a result of VOCs evaporating into the air which is one of the reasons why people often claim to feel dizzy and sick when exposed to freshly painted walls. 

Is paint toxic after drying?

What many people don’t realise is that paint still continues to release toxic chemicals into the air long after the paint has dried. Although it is difficult to put an exact timeframe on how long paint can remain toxic for after drying, most sources agree that it does remain toxic for some time. Also, when paint is located near a heat source such as direct sunlight or radiators, the process of ‘off gassing’ is sped up which leads to more fumes being produced and released into the air of the home. For this reason, we recommend avoiding direct sunlight exposure on freshly painted walls.

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