Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are hazardous. According to the EPA, VOCs cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, and can also damage the liver, kidney and central nervous system.
VOCs are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at room temperature. The high vapor pressure is because the solvents used have a low boiling point. This means the transition from liquid to vapor is fast, giving VOCs their “volatile” nature. What you smell in the air after you open a product with VOCs, is the VOCs that have already evaporated. Volatile Organic Compounds are emitted by a wide range of products used in homes––including paints, lacquers, paint strippers, varnishes, cleaning supplies, air fresheners, pesticides, building materials and even furnishings. VOCs are released into the home from these products both during use and while stored.
In general, the term “low VOC” describes a solvent whose VOC content is at or below 150 g/L. Our waterborne paint ranges from 53 – 125 g/L. That’s because the primary solvent is water!