Environmental Considerations when Painting
Here at Ville Painters, we care about your health and the environment. Paint technology has changed through the years to become more environmentally-friendly. Now paint is free of toxic lead and low in VOCs, and we rarely use oil paint anymore because of the environmental harm they can cause. We mainly use “green” paint and we also offer EPA-sanctioned lead paint covering and removal. Ville Painters Inc. takes care of your and your family’s health as well as the environment through paint and paint removal. After all, we believe that staying informed is the best way to stay safe and healthy!
VOCs in Paint
Volatile organic compounds, abbreviated as VOCs, are chemical compounds that have low boiling points—they turn gaseous at room temperature or lower. Some VOCs, like formaldehyde, are highly toxic and carcinogenic. Formaldehyde, commonly found in resin paint and coatings, can cause headaches and nosebleeds when inhaled. It was also categorized as a human carcinogen in 2011 by the US National Toxicology Program; because of this classification, the EPA allows no more than 0.06 ppm of formaldehyde in the air indoors.
Don’t worry! We use paint and coatings containing water-resistant latex polymers and acrylics which are extremely low in formaldehyde and safe for medical facilities, nurseries, daycares, and senior citizen centers. You can also breathe easy knowing that you and your family are safe while our painters work on your walls.
We rarely use oil paint because oil paint requires harsh chemicals like paint thinners to clean up. The paint thinners emanate toxic, flammable fumes and they require extreme care in handling because the chemicals can leak into watersheds and pollute waterways and groundwater. When we do use oil paint, we dispose of paint thinners properly and carefully in accordance with local laws. This is a process that should always be done by someone with professional experience with the products.
The federal government banned lead-based paints for residential use in 1978. However, homes built in the U.S. before 1978 are likely to have some lead-based paint. Lead-based paint can crack and peel on surfaces subjected to frequent use, such as windows, doors, floors, porches, stairways, and cabinets. When the paint peels and cracks, it makes lead paint chips and turns to dust.
There is no safe level of lead exposure in children. Children can be poisoned if they ingest flaking paint chips or inhale lead dust. Childhood exposure to lead can cause long-term adverse effects such as:
- Damage to the brain and nervous system
- Stunted growth and development
- Learning and behavior problems
- Hearing and speech problems
- Lower IQ
- Decreased ability to pay attention
- Underperformance in school (Mayo Clinic)
Adults can also suffer from detrimental effects caused by lead poisoning. Dust from old paint can become airborne and thus inhalable when scraping down surfaces to repaint or remodel. In adults, high lead levels in blood can cause:
- High blood pressure
- Nerve damage
- Decreased kidney function
- Decreased reproductive capacity—reduced sperm count and greater risk for miscarriage
- Memory loss (Mayo Clinic)
The procedure to safely remove lead paint is extremely difficult to do on your own and requires a lot of specialized equipment. However, you can leave it up to the pros! At Ville Painters, we have ViP team members trained and certified in the Lead Abatement Program developed by the Environmental Protection Agency. We have all the necessary equipment to do so safely, and we follow strict, EPA-sanctioned procedures for lead paint covering and removal so you don’t need to risk your or your family’s health.
For more than 30 years, Ville Painters has been committed to good stewardship of the environment and an exceptional customer experience along with unrivaled craftsmanship and attention to detail. Call us at (717) 396-1176 for a FREE on-site consultation and estimate!