There’s a lot of talk about indoor air quality and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) these days, and if you’ve been paying attention, you may know that paint can play a large part in contributing to poor indoor air quality. So what to do if you are moving or want to give your space a fresh coat of paint? The answer is to look for low or no-VOC paints. Almost every major paint brand produces ‘Low-VOC’ paints these days, but despite the wide variety of options available, not all ‘eco paints’ are created equal.

I recently moved into a new apartment and approached the move as a perfect opportunity to start with a clean green slate. In terms of making a new green beginning, paint is often the best place to start. Indoor air quality is often an afterthought for many people, but it plays an important role in personal health and comfort within a space. Poor indoor air quality can contribute to headaches, fatigue, depressed immune system, asthma and even more serious illnesses like cardiovascular disease and cancer.

So clearly, when undertaking a paint project, you want the healthiest and safest paint out there. However, its not always easy to to differentiate between the myriad ‘eco’ brands that have popped up recently. When faced with this dilemma myself I turned to the natural source for green building expertise in my local area: my friends over at Bettencourt Green Building Supply.

I took an informal poll of about ten different green building experts that I knew on the best ‘eco paint’ available and to my surprise, I got the same response from almost everyone I talked to: AFM Safecoat. Apparently AFM Safecoat is widely known to be the safest and healthiest brand of no-VOC paint currently on the market. We’re not just talking ‘low-VOCs’ but NO VOCs, and no other toxins either. Apparently while most other “low VOC” products on the market are low in what the government regulates as Volatile Organic Compounds, they still contain a host of unregulated toxic ingredients (such as ammonia, acetone, exempt solvents and odor masking agents), which can be equally nasty on indoor air quality and your health.

After the unanimous recommendations for AFM Safecoat that I got, I was so convinced that I decided to give it a try. The odorific difference between Safecoat and traditional paints was immediately perceptible. To start, you can’t smell AFM Safecoat paint at all – even when it is wet and in the can. And I’m saying this as a heavily pregnant lady who has developed a superhero sense of smell overnight. The odor you can normally smell with most paints the scent of off-gassing VOCs. My apartment didn’t even smell while I was in the process of painting, and certainly not at all afterwards while the paint was drying. The color and tone of AFM Safecoat also excellent, and I didn’t notice any perceptible difference from almost any other kind of ‘regular’ stinky paint. The only difference is that AFM Safecoat is a bit more expensive than your average joe paint. But when it’s your health and the health of your loved ones at stake – isn’t a few extra dollars for a paint can worth it?

+ AFM Safecoat

+ Bettencourt Green Building Supply

$35 from Greenbuilding Supply