How to Analyze the Label On a Can of Paint

Tony 02/12/2019
health-focused paint

Investing in low VOC paints can prevent some dangerous cognitive side effects. In a recent study, participants spent six full work days in an environmentally-controlled office space at the TIEQ lab at the Syracuse Center of Excellence. In this space, VOC levels were reduced to approximately 50 micrograms per cubic meter and 40 cubic feet per minute of outdoor air per person. They found that, on average, cognitive scores were 101% higher than in conventional workspaces. But whatever type of paint you buy, it's important to know how to read the label properly. Here are just a few important points to check on a paint can's label before using it.

Check the Ingredients

First, you want to be sure that the paint you're using has safe ingredients, especially if it's being used on a child's crib or bedroom walls. According to Sweden’s Dampness in Buildings and Health study, children with bedroom PGE concentrations in the top 25% (of the study participants) had a 100% higher likelihood of having asthma, a 150% higher likelihood of having eczema, and a 320% higher likelihood of having rhinitis. If you've purchased a low VOC option, make sure the label states it clearly. PGEs are propylene glycol and glycol ethers.

Check Shade

You definitely want to double check the shade of the paint you'll be using, and there's a very easy way to do so:

"Every pigment has a unique Color Index Name, consisting of two letters and some numbers. It's not a complex code, the two letters stand for the color family e.g. PR red, PY yellow, PB blue, PG green. This, plus the number, identifies a specific pigment. For example, PR108 is Cadmium Seleno-Sulfide (common name cadmium red), PY3 is Arylide Yellow (common name hansa yellow)," writes Marion Boddy-Evans on Thought Co.

Check Storage Instructions

Finally, make sure to read any storage instructions provided by the manufacturer. These directions will tell you what type of container to store unused paint in, how long it can be stored, and at what temperature it should be stored.

Ultimately, knowing how to properly read your health-focused paint label can ensure you've gotten the product you paid for with the quality you want. For more information about health-focused paints and stains and varnishes, with no hidden ingredients, contact Ecos Paints.