- $1,750 for an exterior house-painting package with paint included ($2,800 value)
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): Something in the Air
When picking a new paint or varnish, one important factor to look for is VOC levels. Luckily, Groupon took a peek into how you can make sure your air and conscience stay clean.
What does the scent wafting from a ripe banana have to do with paint fumes? Both are caused by volatile organic compounds (VOCs)—that is, substances that easily become gases at room temperature. These may be as innocuous as the banana or may present health risks when inhaled. Depending on the chemical and its concentration, these effects might be as short term as dizziness and eye irritation or as serious as liver and kidney disorders and cancer risk.
Outdoors, the Environmental Protection Agency regulates VOCs emitted into the air in an effort to reduce ozone production, whereas indoors, consumers often depend on labeling. Because VOC concentrations can be up to 10 times higher indoors than outdoors, it’s especially important to watch VOC levels when handling household chemicals such as paint thinner, paint, cleaning supplies, and adhesives, to name a few. Not all products clearly label their VOC content, and experts point out that there is still no single test to gauge all VOC levels, making results from one test to another often inconsistent. Still, consumers can lower their risk by choosing materials labeled low-VOC and by keeping a distance from newly applied paint, flooring, carpeting, and wallpaper.