In this article, we will learn about them eco friendly paints. During the curing and evaporating process, paints release their solvents in the atmosphere. You remember our articles explaining solvents right?.The release of these Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) into the atmosphere, can precipitate effects ranging from Ozone Depletion, to smog, and yes, to Global Warming too. Public sentiment has only been getting stronger in the past few years, and unlike the 1990’s, where the introduction of Green paints bombed, the latest revolution is not going to end.
The crux of the matter however, is that painting experts maintain that, despite what the marketers say, paints without VOC’s don’t perform as well as paints that have them. They claim that they require more coats to achieve the same finish, and are not as long lasting.
However, with VOC’s being linked to dizziness, and asthma, public demand is only getting stronger, and the industry has no choice but to respond.
One solution, is to use Latex Paints, that are water based, with an acrylic resin acting as a binder. In addition to being environmentally friendly – Water based means no more VOCs – Latex paints have several other advantages over traditional paints including washability, and better opacity (Ability to completely cover another color).
Of course, being water based means that the Latex paints cannot be used to paint iron, as it will speed up the rusting process. Even so, there is a distinct trend towards latex paints, and new innovations are popping up everywhere.
The term ‘Green Paints’ can not only refer to the overt effects of the paint itself, but the manufacturing process that is followed in order to obtain the paint ingredients. For example, Titanium Dioxide, is widely used in paints for it’s whiteness, and for the fact that it has high ‘Hiding power’. This refers to the refractive index of the material. If the refractive index is high, it will provide greater opacity when it is disbursed in a solvent.
However, Titanium Dioxide is manufactured by processes called the sulphate, and chloride processes that resulted in diluted Sulphuric acid being created as a by product. These were dispersed into the sea, prompting debate on whether or not this was acceptable. It also meant that all substances that were dissolved in the acid, would also be released into the sea.
Quite apart from more efficient manufacturing practices, Titanium Dioxide, when applied as an exterior coating, reacts with sunlight causing smog. The International Agency for research on Cancer (IARC), has also classified Titanium Dioxide as an IARC Group 2B carcinogen, which means that it is probably an agent leading to the promotion of cancer in humans. Despite this, Titanium Dioxide is widely used.
Given the serious health and environmental damage that paints can have directly through their effects, as well as indirectly through their manufacture, Eco Friendly paints are set to have a major impact on the industry, as well as changing the way we view paint.