02 Sep 2015

Eco-friendly palette

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There are many eco-friendly structural and renewable self-build solutions that offer homeowners a clear conscience in knowing that their home is protecting the health of our planet. However, although we don't often have eco-concerns with the decorative elements of our homes, certain elements may be putting our own health at risk.

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The phrase ‘passive inhalation’ might conjure thoughts of passive smoking or drug abuse, however ‘passive paint inhalation’ is a growing concern for many homeowners and decorators. The rising incidences of unexplained allergies and chronic diseases is increasingly being linked to synthetic and petrochemical-based paint inhalation. It is known that decorators are more likely to contract lung cancer, but the same chemicals also affect individuals living in the newly decorated property.

Painted surfaces can give off toxins and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) into the atmosphere for up to two years after application. This can contribute to long-term health issues, such as allergies and chest complaints. As well as unhealthy emissions, normal petrochemical-based paints are notoriously wasteful, yielding up to 30 litres of toxic waste per litre of paint manufactured. There are very few other things with such bad ingredients that would be used so freely within home decoration.

With Government legislation imposing maximum levels for VOCs, all paint brands are required to consider what goes into their formulations. Acknowledging a gap in the market for paints that protect the health of both homeowners and the environment, there are a growing number of paint manufacturers that specialise in eco-paints.

Cathryn Helsby, Marketing Manager of eco-paint expert Earthborn, comments: “Many people have long been aware of the effects of chemicals to their bodies, this is largely seen in the rise of the slow food and organic veg movements, where people make a direct connection between what they put into their bodies and how this affects their wellbeing. It is surprising that the same consideration is not attached to the chemicals which surround us in the home, particularly those we breathe.”

Specialists such as Earthborn carefully select ingredients and use technologically advanced manufacturing processes and formulations that prove paints don’t need to be harmful. Concerns over reduced performance and dull hues can be put to rest, as these clay based paints achieve impressive colour depth and a strong, full palette.

Established over 10 years ago, Earthborn was the first paint brand in the UK to be licensed by the Department for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs to carry the EU Ecolabel, which demonstrates a manufacturers commitment to protecting the environment.

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