How to Make a Big Impact: Air

What Products You Buy

Paints that are low in VOC are becoming more popular and easier to find. Photo:Ecobob.co.nz

Paints that are low in VOC are becoming more popular and easier to find. Photo:Ecobob.co.nz

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are released through the use of household consumer products including cleaning products, personal care products and a some insecticides. According to the EPA, “VOCs contribute significantly to the formation of ground-level ozone (smog). Exposure to ground-level ozone can damage lung tissue and cause serious respiratory illness. In addition, ground-level ozone can cause serious damage to agricultural crops.”

Since products have the potential to do damage, it’s important to have some priorities to take with you when you shop for them. The California Air Resource Board offers up some much needed advice:

  • Select products that are water-based or have low amounts of VOCs
  • Use water-based paints. Look for paints labeled zero-VOC
  • Paint with a brush, not a sprayer
  • Store solvents in air-tight containers
  • Use a push or electric lawn mower

Continue Reading: How Much Energy You Use

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