Once in the atmosphere, VOCs participate in the formation of ozone. In the presence of nitrogen oxides (Nox) and sunlight, VOCs react with oxygen in the air to produce ozone, the most toxic component
of the form of pollution commonly known as smog. Ozone attacks lung tissue, and is very injurious, even in very low concentrations. To prevent the formation excessive levels of ozone, the VOC content
of paint, and its conditions. Lead in house paint is a problem only if it is damaged or disturbed. Paint in good condition that is not flaking or chalking, or is covered by well-maintained lead free
paint is not a hazard in itself. Lead can also be a hazard when it is on surfaces subject to friction or impact such as windows and doors, or on railings where children can chew it.
High concentrations of lead found in garden soils in older residential areas can be due to residue from lead-based paint. Lead-based paint is most likely to be found on window frames,
doors, skirting boards, kitchen and bathroom cupboards, exterior walls, gutters, metal surfaces and fascias. It can also be found on interior walls, ceilings and areas with enamel paint. Pink and
red primer both contain lead, so you should think twice before disturbing any surface which has had any of these paints applied. The main environmental impacts associated with paint come from the
manufacturer of the components, rather than manufacturing of the product itself.
- By far the greatest environmental impact is derived from the manufacture of Titanium Dioxide (TiO2):
- High embodied energy (54 – 76 MJ/kg) 9.
- Emissions during manufacture
including (depending on process) CO2, N2O, SO2, Nox CH4 and VOCs 9.
- A number of waste streams, including spent acid and metal sulfates, emanate from the manufacturing process, each of which
carries an environmental impact. A number of EU directives seek to reduce and eliminate the pollution caused.
- Raw materials are derived from scarce resources.
The environmental impacts associated with coloured pigments are various – though not as intense in their effects as those for Titanium Dioxide. It is worth noting too, that although
there are ‘natural’ and ‘man-made’ pigments, not all ‘natural’ pigments have a lesser impact than man-made. Specifiers are recommended to examine closely the claims made by the manufacturer.
Ozone produced as part of human activities is a pollutant and a constituent of smog. Ozone is formed when nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and VOCs react in the atmosphere in the presence
of sunlight. Although lead has been banned for use in paint for decades, other chemicals commonly found in paint have also been linked with significant health and environmental issues. Most paints
and stains contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other chemicals that create toxic fumes that can linger indoors for long periods of time. Some VOCs contribute to ozone depletion while others
have known health risks. One of the chemicals linked to illness is propane sulfone, which is widely used in paints and is a powerful known carcinogen. The respiratory system and skin are the most
significant routes for poisoning from chemicals in paints and stains