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VOCs meaning & why low VOC paint is better

Posted by Victoria Yardley on

vocs meaning

VOCs meaning

VOCs stand for volatile organic compounds which are toxic chemicals that can be found in a number of products we use everyday. This includes car exhaust fumes to cleaning sprays and paint, inhaling these fumes can lead to negative effects on health and the environment. 

‘...VOCs come from many common sources such as exhaust fumes, cleaning products, and within the Coatings Industry paints, stains, thinners and brush cleaners. When in sunlight or direct heat, such as radiators, VOCs can ‘react with nitrogen oxides to create ground level ozone and photochemical smogs’

VOCs meaning in paint

The purpose of VOCs in paint is that they help to act as a medium when transferring paint from its tin in liquid form to the wall or other surfaces aiding the paint's flow. Moreover, VOCs can help to preserve paint to prevent it spoiling. Despite this it is still possible to get a paint that does not contain VOCs that can still flow well and last as long although you can expect low VOC paint dries quicker giving it less open time.


Risks of VOCs in paint

What many people don’t realise is that VOCs come with a number of nasty side effects to both human health and the environment. As paint dries, VOCs are released into the air, when inhaled these fumes can cause the following effects (depending on exposure levels):

  • Headaches
  • Nausea and sickness
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Eye, throat and nose irritation 
  • Skin reactions

Low VOCS meaning in paint

As the name suggests, low VOC paint is paint that contains low levels of VOC compared to traditional paints. There are a variety of benefits of this, the key ones being that low VOC paint is safer, toxic free and better for the environment. Victory Colours have created a specially formulated paint that is low VOC whilst possessing the high quality factors of any other paint such as excellent opacity and durability. Here are some more benefits of Victory Colours paints:

Sources of VOCs in the home

There are a number of sources of VOCs in the home, by learning which products emit VOCs you can reduce the amount of these sources by switching to toxic free, eco friendly alternatives. Some sources include:

  • Paint
  • Varnish
  • Adhesive 
  • Carpet
  • Vinyl flooring
  • Upholstery 
  • Foam
  • Air fresheners 
  • Cleaning products
  • Cosmetics

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