the truth about VOCs

beckyg75November 8, 2010

Can anyone point me to information from a reputable source about VOCs in paint - specifically how long they are emitted after painting?

The guy at the paint store told me that there is a lot of marketing gimmick involved, and that basically the VOCs are emitted only until the paint fully dries, and then very little after that.

He even thought it was not worth upgrading in the child's room! He could make more money by selling me on BM Natura, but he said, no, the cheaper stuff is fine, as long as you & the kids aren't the one applying it, that we shouldn't worry about VOCs (we won't move in until a few weeks after the painting is finished; this is a new house for us.)

I tried to google low-VOCs but found a lot of misleading info.

Please, if anyone has a good link to an article that is from a reputable source, I would like to read it. Thanks.

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It largely depends on the VOC source in the coating. There are literally dozens of different types of VOC that might find their way into a coating. Some VOC's flash off quickly and are gone in a matter of hours - others can linger for several days or longer. This is why emissions standards like CHPS and Greenguard exist. In order to pass, the coating must have very low emissions as measured by sensitive equipment in closed chambers. Certainly there is one thing you can believe, the lower the starting VOC level, the lower the total emissions released over time. For him to profess indifference between Natura and a conventional coating is simply stupid. It's unfortunate that he was so misinformed but frankly, to your point, misinformation on this topic abounds. Since you are not moving in for a few weeks, rest assured that your paint will be fully cured by then anyway (however, if possible, try to ensure that the painted rooms to get some fresh air during this period as it speeds up the curing process)

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 8:54AM
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Hey Paintguy1, thank you for the response.

I didn't buy anything yet, but am thinking that because we spend more time in the bedroom than any other room (8 hours sleeping) and b/c we sleep with our windows closed, that I would pick Natura anyway for the bedrooms. The rest of the place, I guess I'll use the hard stuff and air it out well before moving in.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 9:45AM
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Very good info @ PQI...

One link below:

This link is good too, also @ PQI:



Here is a link that might be useful: PQI VOC info....

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 11:04AM
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