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

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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