While it is true that the nature of latex paints make them far better for us and the environment, the contents do have toxins. Some of these toxins produce VOC’s and some don’t. The vehicle of latex (water-based) paints is water which is a big improvement from the thinners used in oil-based paints. The acrylic binder is nontoxic but there are additives such as solvents, mercury, formaldehyde, and benzene. Pigments also add some nasty things like cadmium, chromium and even lead in smaller amounts.
From the environment’s perspective, latex paint is even more troublesome. The biggest damage done is to our water. Cleaning brushes and equipment inevitably will create water pollution when the dirty water gets poured down the drain. Worst yet is the disposal of latex paint down storm drains and sinks (yes, people really do this!).
The best way to minimize water-pollution via water-based painting is to throw out rollers without washing them, wring excess paint out of brushes before dunking in water and allow unwanted paint to dry and disposing of it as a solid waste.
We won’t list all of the unhealthy aspects of latex paints (also called acrylic paints or water-based paints) because you probably get the picture. Like junk food, water-based paints serve a great purpose; satisfying our appetite for tasty colors (like burgers and fries). Latex paints perform great and although they aren’t exactly good for our health, they won’t kill us.
Call Arteriors today 508-655-1942 for all your paint options – from latex to totally toxin free paints!
back to Part 1 – Oil Paint is Superior to Water Based Paint – True or False?
continue to Part 3 – Zero VOC Paint: Just How Good is it for Us?