Protect Your Family From Dangerous Paint Chemicals

Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk tells readers what dangerous paint chemicals to watch out for when painting your home.

| October/November 2003

Dangerous paint chemicals can harm your family and hurt the environment.

Dangerous paint chemicals can harm your family and hurt the environment.


Learn about these dangerous paint chemicals that can harm your family and the environment.

Dangerous Paint Chemicals You Need to Know About

Chemicals to Avoid

Ammonia: Used as a mildewcide and as a pigment solvent. Ammonia is an eye and respiratory irritant.

Glycolesters: Used as a solvent to help pigment mix more easily into paint bases. Can be absorbed through the skin and, with prolonged exposure, can cause organ damage.

Heavy metals (cobalt, cadmium): Used as pigments, drying agents or biocides. These chemicals are neurotoxins and also can damage the liver and kidneys.

Phthalates (dibutyl phthalate): Give the paint better spreadability. Can cause eye and skin irritation. They are toxic when inhaled or ingested.

Tolulene (methyl benzene): Used as a paint solvent. Tolulene can negatively affect the nervous system, kidneys and heart.

6/11/2007 7:40:51 PM

You need to take a look at Ecological Paint, I have been doing research on the perfect non-voc paint product and from what I am reading, these folks have mastered both eco-friendly, without all the typical byproducts of an environmentally friendly paint product. I do wonder if you folks are capable of verifying the information on their site and checking the validity of the statements made.

3/16/2007 6:00:46 AM

I just read your article on paints and couldn't help but notice that you suggested that people should avoid cobalt in paints. As you stated this is a drying agent for paints and as far as I'm aware there is no (less harmful) alternative to cobalt that can achieve the same performance of drying. In fact I've studied a number of 'natural' paints which still contain this. If you know of an alternative that would allow for the exclusion of cobalt compounds then I would be very interested to hear of it. Many thanks in advance for your time, kind regards James Sumner

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