By Noor Charchafchi
Gallons Of Paint 3616760

Eco Friendly Paint: Benefits & Risks

June 19, 2020

Celine Interior Design’s founder and Director, Noor Charchafchi, came across eco friendly paints whilst taking an unlikely sales call from a company called Graphenstone, with a relatively new UK branch. Our founder and Director was astounded at what she learned over the space of that call and the following online reading and learning she did around the subject.

Eco friendly paints were not previously on the company’s radar and will now be very much a part, not only of the company’s culture in its drive for excellence but will also now be a driving force behind the company’s new pledge to source the best quality materials to ensure the best quality of life for our clients.

So what are eco friendly paints and why is our company taking them so seriously? Eco pants are paints with lower levels of toxic chemicals. There are three major benefits to eco friendly paints, they create less of a health risk to people, they are more environmentally friendly and they are actually on close consideration of superior quality compared to the chemical-based products because they have better color retention, viscosity, abrasion resistance and paint coverage.

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Just to spell out the potential physical and undisputed health risks, some of which are respiratory related so definitely something to stay away from during COVID, even at low levels they can lead to asthma, rhinitis (a hayfever-like irritation), dizziness and nausea and at high levels they are linked to cancer; liver and kidney complications as well as issues with the central nervous system.

The average person spends over 90% of their time indoors which explains why poor indoor air quality can have such a huge impact on our health and well-being. As a designer, that makes this subject enormously important and I feel we really have a duty of care to make our clients aware of this and allow them to then make informed decisions about what they want to use in their homes.

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In 2010 an EU directive came into force heavily restricting the solvent (or VOC) content in paints. EU Directives are well considered and deliberated and the UK subsequently implemented the Directive into legislation. If our own government has gone so far as to limit the toxicity that we are entitled to have in paint, it does make you realise this is quite a serious issue that has to be deserving of our full attention.

VOC’s or toxic chemicals found in paints are added to paints for fluidity and to make them dry quickly but they have proven damaging environmental and health consequences. The potential for VOCs to cause interior room pollution is even greater now that we insulate our homes well and block up all the draughts. This can no longer be an area that we ignore within our design schemes.

I think probably now the paint quality and health impact of what we are using for our clients will be a priority before colour is even discussed and even where we have clients who are mainly using wallpaper it shouldn’t be forgotten that ceilings too are lined with paint.

I think the message is, do your homework, do your research, keep reading and gaining knowledge about the products that you are using in your homes or supplying in your client’s homes.

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