Volatile Organic Compounds, or commonly known as VOCs, are the elements of paint and other products that affect the air we breathe and the health of our environment. Environmental legislation and environmental groups use VOCs to measure the environmental friendliness of a paint product. To put this measure into perspective, a normal latex paint may have about 250 grams of VOC per liter of paint and an oil-based may have more than 400 grams/liter. As far as the environment is concerned, zero voc paint is best.
In recent years, several new paint products have emerged claiming to be environmentally friendly. While anything with 50 grams or less is considered environmentally friendly (such as the Benjamin Moore Aura), several products now claim zero VOCs.
VOCs aren’t in paint just for fun. Manufacturers formulate paint to achieve various characteristics such as coverage, dry time, leveling, durability and scuff resistance. Depending on the purpose of the paint and the quality level and price point they want to achieve, the paint will contain different combinations of ingredients. Not surprisingly, the VOC containing ingredients often provide better performance, too. This leads to a trade-off between a paints performance quality and its VOC content.
Paints that don’t have contain VOCs is nothing special. This formulation can easily be obtained by pouring some clay in some water and zero VOC paints have been available for years. But you might as well not bother painting because there will not be much durability in the paint film. And painting with something that won’t last isn’t exactly environmentally friendly - it is just waste of resources regardless of the VOCs involved because there are other materials and packaging used and energy consumed in its transport and manufacture. And there are also boring because the color selection is often severly restricted.
There is exciting news however, because Benjamin Moore has developed a zero-voc high-performance paint. Natura offers people the ability to have a high-quality, very durable paint and be very environmentally friendly. Benjamin Moore Natura provides a washable, durable, fade-resistant paint that is available in every and any color. Natura has zero VOCs and is practically odorless.
And it gets better…. Natura remains a zero VOC paint regardless of the color. The colorants don’t add any VOCs. This is completely unique to Benjamin Moore Natura - other zero voc paints add VOCS as colorant is added. Benjamin Moore Natura is available in a flat, eggshell or semi-gloss sheen as well as primer.