Paint and the Environment: What’s the Connection?

ECOS Paints 06/21/2022
Paint and the Environment: What’s the Connection?

According to Newton’s Third Law of Motion, every action has an equal opposite reaction. The idea applies to how objects react to outside forces. For example, if you push a box of cereal sitting on your kitchen table, it will tip over. However, we can also apply this idea philosophically. No matter what we do, we will impact the world around us.

Littering leads to pollution of waterways, which impacts marine life. While the connection between littering and the environment is obvious, the impact of other actions is less obvious. The connection between paint and the environment is a good example of this.

The Dangers of Improper Paint Disposal

We can’t always guess exactly how much paint we’ll need to cover our walls. As such, we often end up with leftover paint that we don’t need. Unfortunately, many individuals choose to dispose of paint by dumping it in a backyard, down the drain, or into a trash can.

When disposing of conventional paint products, it becomes industrial waste, entering our environment and filling it with toxic chemicals, such as:

  • Benzene
  • Xylene
  • Phenol
  • Glycol
  • Ethyl acetate
  • Formaldehyde

These chemicals can harm both plant and animal life and damage the waterways we use for drinking and washing water.

Paint and Air Pollution

But these chemicals aren’t only dangerous when consumed or touched. When chemicals in oil-based paint react to the air, they produce volatile organic compounds, invisible vapors that ride on the air.

VOCs can seriously degrade indoor air quality within homes, leading to aggravated allergy symptoms, headaches, and a potentially increased risk of cancer. Outside of homes, these vapors contribute to ozone in our atmosphere, which can degrade the air quality for everyone.

Ways To Alleviate the Effects of Paint on the Environment

There is no sense in knowing the connection between paint and the environment without knowing how to protect the environment from improper paint use. One of the most important ways is learning how to dispose of paint correctly. If you’re using oil-based paint, you will need to take any leftover paint to a local center created to dispose of paint properly.

However, water-based paints don’t contain the same harmful chemicals and VOCs that oil-based paints do. As such, using it tends to be more eco-friendly, and disposing of it tends to be much more straightforward. 

At ECOS Paints, we believe that every little act can make a big impact on helping the environment. That’s why we supply our customers with a wide selection of non-toxic* interior paints, so they can color their world while reducing the environmental impact.

*Non-toxic - Conforms to ASTM-D4236, specifically concerning oral toxicity, skin irritation and respiratory effects.