Exterior House Paint Regulations

It does not difficult to realize that the earth is suffering from the way humans are treating it. As landfills overflow and are filled with toxic waste and waters are polluted from improperly disposed chemicals, it is clear that people must change the way they make, use and discard products.

One particular item that is currently being improved is eco-friendly exterior house paint. In the past, there had been very limited regulations by the government on what could be in the ingredients of exterior house paint. And, although improvements have been made and some rules are in place, there is still a large gap between what is allowed and what is environmentally friendly.

According to industry standards, an exterior house paint is considered eco-friendly as long as it does not contain toxins or heavy metals. However, these simple qualifications leave a very wide girth for other non-earth-friendly chemicals.

For example, interior house paints now have ratings based on volatile organic compound (VOC) levels. VOCs are responsible for the strong odors associated with paints, and they are typically the result of chemicals such as fermaldahyde, ammonia, or acetone. Interior paints now have certain levels below which they must remain so that they are not considered air pollutants.

Although exterior paints need to meet the same guidelines, manufacturer’s are using other chemicals to replace the VOCs because the water-based interior paints do not hold up outside when exposed to low temperatures.

Since few people sense the effects that exterior paint has on themselves or the environment, it is no wonder that consumers have not yet demanded that manufacturers adhere to a more strict set of regulations. Unfortunately, it will probably remain that way until these adverse affects are publicized. Hopefully though, the increase in eco-friendly interior paints will spawn interest in eco-friendly exterior house paint as well.

Currently, there is a gap between what government regulators want in a paint and what manufacturer’s are able to produce. When VOCs are removed, it causes problems with the usability, durability, and functionality of the paint. As of yet, manufacturer’s have not been able to produce and eco-friendly exterior house paint that meets both government and consumer critics.

For those who are aware of the damaging affects of caustic paint, there are very few options when it comes to eco-friendly exterior house paint. In fact, most of the choices available are not really even paint. Truly eco-friendly options include stains, lime washes or select finishes.

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