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Once a week, I am offering up a tip or action or idea that we can all engage with to work towards living in ways that allow for more health and wellbeing for all aspects of the planet. Last week we talked about carpooling.

This week the green thought is about low-VOC paints.

Painting is a ton of fun and can really change the feel of a room, but more happens when any of us paint something than a change in color. As paint dries, scintillating as that is to watch, it releases a whole suite of different chemicals into the air. That smell of fresh paint is a result of those chemicals drifting around in the air. These chemicals are all grouped under the label Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs. The problem with VOCs is that they contribute to fine particulate pollution in the air, and also cause health impacts in humans (and likely in other animals as well) including eye irritation, headaches, nose and throat irritation, nausea, loss of coordination, kidney damage, and central nervous system issues among others.

Some cans of low-VOC paint of various colors. Photo: Stelzer Painting

One solution is to buy and use low-VOC, or zero-VOC, paints. Some paints are made with chemicals and materials such that they release relatively low levels of VOCs. This means that the paints are likely to have fewer impacts on the health of us humans, and also have less of a negative impact on the environment.

What do you think of these thoughts and the solution? Is this a step you will take? Do you have any other solution ideas?

Thank you for visiting my blog! Please check back next week for another Green Thought Thursday!

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