ARTICLES / DANGERS OF ISOCYANATES
Why VOC Free Paints & Floor Coatings Improve Indoor Air Quality
November 30th 2016
Over the years, many of the products used to paint, coat, and clean have changed due to studies that have found certain materials present a danger to the health and wellbeing of people and their pets. For example, until the early 1970s lead was a common element in paints that provided strength and durability until its harmful effects were fully discovered.
Today, many of these same products contain polyurethane which provides added durability and resilience. Unfortunately, many of the paint, floor coating, and other products contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) inside the polyurethane which adversely affect the indoor environment.
What is VOC?
Volatile organic compounds are elements that are mainly found in petroleum products which add strength and durability, but also are considered toxic in nature. The strong odor that emanates from products that contain VOCs is one indication of their existence.
You can find VOC elements in products such as:
- Floor Coatings
- Cleaning, Degreasing, and Hobby products
Fuel and petroleum products also contain VOCs to varying degrees. When in a solid state, they are fairly safe as the VOC elements are contained and their effects mostly minimized. It is usually during the application process such as painting, applying floor coatings, waxes, cleaning, and so forth do they present a danger to the health of those inside the building, facility, or residence. When applied and over time, VOC products will have a detrimental effect to those who spend a considerably amount of time inside exposed to them.
The health effects of exposure to VOC depends in part on the sensitivity of the individual, but it generally starts with irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat followed by headaches, nausea, and even loss of coordination depending on the severity of the exposure. VOCs have also been linked to cancer, damaging the kidneys, liver, and central nervous system depending on the amount of exposure.
Naturally, the concern over the exposure to these compounds has led to the development of VOC products that provide the same results with far less danger to the indoor air environment.
How VOC Free Works for Your Business, Facility, or Residence
Thanks to the addition of green or environmentally-friendly elements in the polyurethane, the VOCs have been greatly reduced to the point of being safe for the indoor environment. Because the air indoors is often trapped with little circulation from the outside, the buildup of VOCs may reach dangerous levels.
However, VOC free products create an indoor environment, which contains far less pollutants and what is present can be easily ventilated long before they reach harmful levels. This means a far safer working and living environment that is easier to maintain. The green products that are used still provide the same and in many cases more durability and longevity, but contain no harmful products which can pollute the indoor environment.
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