Paint is an easy – and often cheap – way to transform your home. However, it can be dangerous for both human health and the environment. There are a huge number of products on the market, and it can be confusing to know where to start when choosing brands and colours. Nowadays there’s even more choice, with several ‘eco’ options floating around. Are they right to claim this title, and why might you opt for eco paint?
Why do we need an alternative to standard paints?
There’s more than just the horrible smell to put you off using standard paints. With so much emphasis placed on the UK’s illegal outdoor air pollution levels, it is easy to forget that pollution is often even worse indoors. This issue is bad enough without contributing extra with chemicals from paint fumes.
What medical effects can chemicals in paint have?
Prolonged exposure to wet paint often causes dizziness, nausea and headaches. The mixtures contain huge numbers of chemicals such as formaldehyde and VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which are carcinogenic. These chemicals don’t necessarily stop when the paint dries – they can hang around for days.
The potentially hazardous health effects of these ingredients are well known – there are reports of them causing damage to the liver, kidneys and nervous system. Especially at risk are young children and those with existing respiratory problems. The World Health Organisation says professional decorators are 40% more likely to contract lung cancer. This speaks for itself.
Paint also has environmental consequences. The solvents and biocides included in the ingredients can have impacts during manufacture and disposal. Producing 1 litre of paint can produce a staggering 30l of toxic waste. Solvent emissions contribute to damage of the ozone layer and VOCs and CO2 emitted during manufacture hang around in the air.these
The EU currently sets limits on VOC levels in paints – but this is one of many regulations that could become redundant since the UK’s ‘Leave’ vote. So it could be wise to do your own vetting!
There is an alternative: eco paints
Although ‘natural’ paints have been available for years, there are no clear lines drawn on what exactly constitutes an ‘eco’ or ‘natural’ label. The vast majority of these products simply contain fewer chemicals than the big brands. However, a scarce few products contain almost no chemicals, as their main ingredients are derived from natural sources.
Auro natural paints
Truly eco-friendly paints can be hard to find. That’s why we always recommend Auro. The brand has been around for 30 years and in this time it has perfected its recipe for long-lasting, versatile, ethically-sourced paint. It is toxin-free and made from 99% natural raw ingredients, based on organic linseed oil resins. Materials come from environmentally-managed sources and waste produced during manufacturing is composted. This has led to the brand being named as Ethical Consumer’s ‘Best Buy’.
Auro paint is available in hundreds of lovely colours, all dyed with natural pigments. The paint is applied the same way as standard paints, with similar coverage – so it’s definitely worth a go. The finish of the Auro paints are also first class. Because it’s microporous, it’s breathable, making it especially good for bathrooms and kitchens, where steam can lead to damp, condensation and mould. The eco paint can be used for nearly all applications and environments.
Auro has a massive range – these days, you can get an eco alternative for almost any kind of paint or finish. Next time you’re thinking of redecorating, we’d definitely recommend considering using eco paint!
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