Color Choice: Eco-friendly and Healthy Renovation

Color Choice: Eco-friendly and Healthy Renovation

The selection in the domestic construction market appears for the DIY enthusiasts thanks to colorful wall paints, colorful wallpaper and various paints unbelievably large. In reality, this range will be much smaller if you choose the products that are environmentally friendly and healthy. Each year, unfavorable paints and wallpapers release tens of thousands of tons of solvents . These pollutants dilute in the air over a longer period of time and thus provide for tiredness, headaches and allergic skin reactions. In addition, there are hundreds of chemicals that have a negative impact on the environment and health. With this guide we inform you about the existing risks and give tips on choosing the right products for the environment and your health.

Man spends more time indoors

We humans spend more and more of our time in indoors . Whether at home, in public buildings or at work - health always depends on the quality of the indoor air. There are many influencing factors that influence the indoor air, one of the most important are the products and equipment used in our home. Escaping pollutants can remain in the room air and thus lead to various symptoms such as bronchitis, asthma, allergic skin reactions and symptoms of tiredness. Proper ventilation of the rooms will be a necessity but can not definitively remedy the problem as the pollutants continue to leak out of the products.

For these reasons, it is advisable to use only low emission items to use in his house. By purchasing these products you can protect not only your own health, but also the environment. For environmental and health-conscious purchasing, there are numerous information tools and quality seals, such as the Blue Angel, Forestry Stewardship Council and EcoControl. Products bearing these seals meet strict health and environmental requirements and help consumers choose the right paints, varnishes and glazes.

The differences between paints, varnishes and paints

Color is basically a sensation which is triggered by light to the eye. In linguistic usage, the term is also used for material colorants - so-called dispersion wall paints. Colors are used in renovations to color the interiors but also to protect the walls and ceilings.

Interior and exterior lacquers allow home improvement not only to create, but also to protect the surfaces from moisture , Weather conditions and chemicals. The organic solvent in the paint evaporates after application and leaves behind a layer called paint film.

While paint is mainly used for wood, metal and plastic surfaces, glazes are mainly used on wood surfaces. Thanks to the lower content of binders and pigments, the structure of the wood can shine through. Glazes have two properties: they form an open-pored layer that allows the exchange of moisture between the wood and its surroundings, or a film that has a similar function as the paint film.

What is contained in paints

Paints must perform many tasks at the same time, accordingly complex is the mixture. Despite the many different formulations of various manufacturers, the basic framework is almost always the same. It basically consists of four components :

1. Binder

The binder forms the paint together with the pigments. After the organic solvent or water escapes, a protective film is formed. The binder provides the necessary adhesion to the substrate and distributes the pigments at the same time. Wall paints and glazes generally have a low binder content, which makes the protective film porous.

Binders are made from natural oils and animal or plant resins . The higher the quality, the longer the elasticity, durability and hardness of the paint. For cost reasons, synthetic resins such as polyvinyl acetates, acrylates or modified natural resins such as alkyd resins are used in most paints.

2. Pigments

Pigments are natural or artificial and of organic or inorganic origin. The best-known natural pigment is chalk, which is used as a filler, among other things. An indispensable white pigment is the artificial titanium dioxide, which has a particularly good opacity and weather resistance. Some pigments have positive properties for wood preservation, corrosion protection, and UV absorption.

To achieve individual shades, basecoats or white wall paints & quot; universal tinting pastes & quot; added. These pigments have a high pigment content and are ideal for waterborne and solventborne products.

In the past, pigments were often made from heavy metal compounds such as chromium, lead or cadmium, which have now been replaced by organic and inorganic compounds used in the Body are less toxic.

3. Solvents

Paints can be sprayed or spread using solvents by keeping the pigments and binders in solution. When painted and then dried, they evaporate completely, so that the paint gets firm and a protective film is created. However, this volatile organic compound affects both health and the environment. Conventional paints have a solvent content of 35 percent or more.

In waterborne paints, varnishes and wall paints, organic solvents are largely replaced by water. This can significantly reduce the burden on the environment and on us humans. Also, dispersion wall paints are mostly based on water. Other wall paints have low levels (2.5%) of organic solvents and other compounds.

Within the EU the content of volatile organic compounds in paints and coatings is limited in accordance with Directive 2004/42 / EC. The EU Decopaint Guideline applies to all paints, glazes and paints that are used as house paints for doors, radiators, windows, stairs and so on. This directive does not cover furniture.

4. Additives

Additives are auxiliaries or additives that are added to the coating material in small amounts in order to achieve certain usage and processing properties. These properties include:

  • preventing "skin formation"
  • thickening and dripping paint
  • accelerating drying
  • protecting paint film from fungal attack

Some of these substances pollute the environment and human health . Seals check the recipes for their negative effects. For example, Blue Angel products should not be carcinogenic or pollute the environment.

What to look for when choosing a product

When beautifying the home, there is nothing more important than using high quality products. For example, anyone who paints indoor paints and varnishes, which are actually intended for outdoor use, unnecessarily burden their own health. Added to this is the fact that the sealing of surfaces in the house anyway has a negative impact on the indoor climate. A healthy room climate is only possible if as many breathable surfaces as possible are given. All materials used, such as doors, flooring, windows, etc., must regulate the indoor climate by absorbing and releasing moisture.

For this reason, it is important not to save on wall paint purchases. The purchase price should therefore not be the purchase reason, but the & # Consumption per square meter & ldquo ;. Cheap colors in this area, the fertility, have major disadvantages. In most cases, they cover only about half the area that would be possible with quality paint.

In terms of pollutant content, there are great differences between the individual products, which are hardly recognizable to laymen. Neither did the manufacturer's eco-label even provide any printed information such as "solvent-free". are not necessarily reliable. Same goes for names like & quot; Bio & ldquo; or & quot; eco-polish & quot ;. These terms are not standardized and merely a marketing tool that says nothing about the environmental impact.

Consumers should be guided by quality seals such as the Blue Angel or the EU Flower as well as recommendations of the Federal Environmental Agency when choosing paints, lacquers and glazes. Another focal point is the renovation magazine: Here are some practical tips for renovating your own four walls.

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