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Technology

EasyBreathe

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How does paint affect the natural environment, as well as people’s health?

The main way that paints can affect the environment and people’s health is by the emission of VOCs into the atmosphere.

What are VOCs?

VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, are chemicals emitted as gases from paint as it dries and evaporates into the atmosphere. While most paints will continue emitting trace levels of VOCs for years after it has dried, VOC emission levels are 1,000 times higher in concentration during or immediately after painting.

What do VOCs in the atmosphere do?

Once in the atmosphere, VOCs become ozone, which causes air pollution as a greenhouse gas.

Additionally, high-levels of VOC exposure can cause short-term illnesses, and  have been identified as a potential contributing cause of asthma, cancer and kidney and liver disease.

VOCs are also one of the primary reasons paints give off an unpleasant odour.

How can paint be made better for the environment and for people’s health?

  • Paints can be formulated with less of the harmful chemicals which cause VOCs, and other forms or air pollution
  • Paints can be formulated with chemicals that themselves are less harmful, and emit less VOCs
  • Paints can be made hider in solids (resins) or pigment concentrations, reducing the amount of solvents that can evaporate.
  • Paints can be tinted with Zero-VOC colorants, as typical colorants are very high in VOCs
  • Paints can be made to dry quicker, which limits the amount of VOCs and emissions they can  give off before drying

Ulttima Plus emulsion paints are said to contain Easybreathe Technology because:

  • They dry quickly, helping to limit the release of VOCs at the time of painting, and contain much less of the harmful chemicals that cause VOCs or affect air quality and health
  • Before the addition of colorants, they have low VOC levels, from 20-48 grams/litre , which generally is 15-25% less VOCs than traditional competitive paints, and about equal to competitive “Low VOC” paints.
  • The big difference comes after tinting. With Ulttima Plus, the colorants are Zero-VOC  and so do not add to the VOC content of the paint. Competitive “Low VOC” paints tinted with regular colorants can double in VOC content after tinting – meaning that tinted Ulttima Plus can have less than half the amount of VOCs of tinted competitive “Low VOC” paints