This was written by Jove Arthurs of Door Emporium in New Jersey.
The augmented and collective awareness of modern citizens with regard to present environmental concerns is something we should all be happy and proud about. Not only does this mean we give enough value to the world we live in, but furthermore, it reflects our shared hope and goodwill for mankind.
This is why we should consistently foster our unified drive to make this world a safer home for everyone, and for generations to come. Fortunately, we are given ample avenues to do this. Take for instance in our home improvement projects and endeavors.
In the simple act of choosing paints and stains for our wood door, we can adhere to our green principles. By opting for eco-friendly paints and stains, we are given clean air to breathe within and outside the vicinity of our home, and most importantly, we are doing Mother Nature a favor.
Environmental Hazards Present in Wood Door Paints and Stains
Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs
These chemicals easily evaporate at normal room temperature and are considered as some of the most notorious air contaminants. In a study conducted by California Air Resources Board, out of the 176 million pounds of emissions from VOCs, at least 120 million pounds came from paints and stains such as those used for wood doors.
Repeated exposure to VOCs can also cause several health risks such as nausea; eye irritation; heart, kidney, and lung damage; dizziness; respiratory tract infection; and cancer.
Another component of paints and stains that contaminate air are the so-called pigments which are chemicals employed to give these substances their dyeing capability.
Biocides and Fungicides
Biocides and fungicides are introduced to wood door paints and stains to ensure the product’s shelf life longevity, and to deter growth of mildew, respectively. The risks posed by these chemicals to the environment are not just contained in the air or atmosphere. Their hazardous offshoots can also seep underground, especially if they are not properly disposed of, thus potentially threatening water supply. The worst part is that the effects of these chemicals are detected at least five years after application of wood door paint or stain.
Paints and Stains: What to look for
Exterior wood door paints normally come with fungicides, and, variants with low biocide content are yet to be introduced to the market. Thus far, the most recommended options are brands with zinc oxide in lieu of fungicides. Second best options include latex or acrylic paints, zero or low VOC variants, and reused water-based products. Things to scratch out your shopping list include paint products in old cans for they usually contain high amount of lead and mercury, and oil-based products.
For interior wood door paints, natural and milk paint products are currently the greenest choices you could make. Natural paint products have been derived from eco-friendly components such as balsam, citrus, and minerals. These petroleum-free paint variants come with plant-based VOCs (terpenes) that do not emit fungicides or biocides. Meanwhile, milk paint products are derived from lime and the milk protein called casein. Milk paint is excellent in wood door dyeing for it creates rich color and grainy appearance on the door surface.
For stains, the green options available in the market include water-based variants, carnauba and beeswax-based products, and zero-biocide brands.
Paint and stain products’ chemical contents are listed on the can label. Customers can also contact the company or manufacturer and ask for their product safety data. Presently, the green movement’s most acclaimed wood door paint and stain providers are Auro USA, The Green Paint Company, The Old-Fashioned Milk Paint Company, Weather-bos Stains and Finishes, American Formulating and Manufacturing (AFM), Environmental Building Supplies, Med Imports, and Timber-Tek UV Wood Finishes.
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