My favorite green product of the week: The Freshaire Choice Paint
What is it?
The Freshaire Choice Paint is a zero volatile organic compound (VOC) paint. It comes in 65 colors and three different sheens. It is an interior paint, a ceiling paint, and an interior primer. It is manufactured by ICI Paints and became Greenguard http://www.greenguard.org/ Certified in September 2007. Greenguard Environmental Institute sets strict limitations on environmental toxins including VOCs, formaldehyde, aldehydes, phthalates, and particles.
Why is it better?
First, let's talk about VOCs. VOCs are emitted as gases from some solids and liquids; they include a variety of chemicals, some of which have short or long-term negative health effects. For example, several types of VOCs are known carcinogens and are directly related to childhood asthma. According to the EPA's Total Exposure Assessment Methodology, indoor levels of VOCs are 2 to 5 times higher than they are outside. This isn't such a good thing since each of us spends an average of 90% of our time indoors and specifically 65% inside our homes, according to the National Safety Council.
I think it logically follows that you would want to choose products that help you better your indoor air quality and create a healtheir space for you and your family. That's where your paint comes into play. According to Aerias Air Quality Sciences, conventional oil-based paints contain 420 to 450 parts VOCs per gallon. That's quite a bit in comparison to low-VOC paints that have VOC levels of less than 100 parts per gallon. And in comparison to The Freshaire Choice of zero VOCs? Well, there's no contest.
Many paints that offer claims of zero VOCs forget to tell you that when you add color, you're adding back the VOCs. But The Freshaire Choice leaves out the VOCs in both the paint and the colorant. They call it the ColorFresh system: a pre-mesasured colorant pouch dissolves into the base free of organic chemicals (and free of that new paint smell). Beyond the indoor air quality benefits, The Freshaire Choice offers chips and brochures made from recycled materials which can be further recycled, a can made from 100% recycled materials, and a label made from 75% recycled fiber and printed with soy ink. As their tag line says, "no matter which color you choose it's guaranteed to be green."
Where can you find it? Come April 1st, you can find The Freshaire Choice Paint at your local Home Depot. One gallon will retail $35-38.
Besides her green products column on Cleantech Blog, http://www.cleantechblog.com/ Cristina is a passionate advocate for green living, and manages the content for GreenHome.Huddler.com.