Planning to Upgrade Your Home’s Interiors? Learn More About Environmentally-Friendly Paints and Low-VOC Products


When homeowners are planning to refinish furniture and floors or paint their walls, it’s important to use non-toxic products to promote a healthier indoor environment. Since many adults and children experience chemical sensitivities, using environmentally-friendly products with low levels of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, is also recommended. When certain types of organics are present indoors, the air quality can be an average of two to five times worse than outdoors. As a result, this can potentially lead to a variety of health issues.

Volatile Organic Compounds and Chemical Sensitivities

CBC Marketplace released a report that contained important information for individuals that experience chemical sensitivities. According to the report, when someone is in contact with or inhales VOCs, it can contribute to health issues. This is particularly the case when these VOC levels exceed 500 parts per billion.

Even though many of the VOCs will have dissipated from floors that are over a year old, some homeowners may still want to install new flooring or refinish their existing floors. In this case, experts recommend choosing organic products and VOC-free paints. When someone has a latex allergy, for example, it’s a good idea to use latex-free paint for furniture and walls. This can greatly improve the indoor air quality and reduce the risk of coming into contact with substances that trigger chemical sensitivities.

PGE Exposure and Health Issues

When children have multiple allergic symptoms, Sweden’s Dampness in Buildings and Health study discovered that when they are exposed to PGEs, these children were more likely to develop sensitivities to other allergens. The study revealed that PGE-exposure almost doubled the chances that this would occur. Taking into consideration all of the children participating in the study, the ones whose bedrooms had PGE concentrations within the top 25% had an increased chance to have the following health issues:

  • Asthma: 100% more likely
  • Eczema: 150% more likely
  • Rhinitis: 320% more likely

Learn More About Non-Toxic Products

Fortunately, there are a variety of products that are non-toxic and have low VOCs. Clear polyurethane, for example, can be used as a non-toxic clear coat on furniture. It is also an ideal treatment for hardwood floors. In addition to clear polyurethane, you may be interested in using a gloss varnish on furniture or floors. Once you learn more about these and other environmentally-friendly products, it will be that much easier to reduce the toxins within your home.

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