Glossary Of Terms
HARLEQUIN Paints What is a VOC ? Volatile Organic Compound A mathematical calculation performed*on a specific Paint formulation, to determine the presence of Organic Solvents which have a boiling point of less than 250◦c. This boiling point was set out by the European Environmental Protection Agency; as representing solvents which by having a boiling point greater than 250◦c would be considered safer to the human environment. It does however not mean that there is no solvent present in the formulation only that the solvent present has a boiling point higher than the agreed level as per the EPA 2010. What is Low Odour? This term is used by certain manufacturer’s to explain that the Solvent they have added does not smell or give off an odour , that does not however mean that there is no solvent present in the product. What does Solvent Free mean? This term is used by manufacturer’s who are using a binder in their product, which, in fact does not require any solvent to help the paint dry and form its film correctly. However most of these binder systems require an ambient temperature of greater than 0◦c to work correctly. In South Africa we rarely experience temperatures lower than zero, therefore it is practical to add a small addition of solvent to ensure the optimum performance of the coating. What are Biocides? In the dark days heavy metals such as Mercury were used as Biocides. Many companies still use Formaldyde in their paints; they are useful as they off gas and protect the head space of the product. We at Harlequin Paints do not use either of the chemicals mentioned but use the latest technology biocides which are permitted by the E.P.A (European Protection Agency). A Biocide can be defined as:- Complex organic chemicals which are added to paint to inhibit the growth of both fungus and bacteria , they also help give the paint it’s shelf life. The European Protection Agency states a level as 15 ppm of C.M.I T* see explanatory note per litre of paint, this in the industry is known as Rule 43. of 2010. What is a Binder? In the U.S.A these are referred to as the latex content of the paint. In Europe we refer to them as the emulsion or binder of the paint system. At Harlequin Paints we use a solvent free binder which is also A.P.E.O* free and has a VOC level of less than 0.1% on free monomer. The binder that Harlequin Paints utilise also carries the “Blue Angel” mark. Which is the mark awarded in Europe to indicate the low impact this binder has on the environment? This binder does not require any additional solvents to aid it in the drying process (except temperatures of less than zero). Explanatory Terms A.P.E.O: Alkylphenolethosylate Our aim is to inspire and encourage people to be as passionate about paint and the environment as we are. Choose your colour…… it will always be green.
HARLEQUIN Paints How low should the VOC level be? A white paint will have a lower VOC level than a tinted paint, as the tints used to create the required shade or colour contain glycols. A small amount of tint- say the amount needed to tint a pastel colour will not significantly raise the overall VOC level. However the darker the shade you require, the higher the level of solvents. Harlequin Paints VOC content is between 1.2 – 1.4 grams per litre in our range of environmentally preferred paints. Your minimal VOC option. VOCs have been found to be the major contributing factor to ozone, a common air pollutant that has been proven to be a health hazard to all. While ozone in the upper atmosphere is beneficial, ozone at ground level is quite the opposite. The atmospheric ozone layer helps protect us from the suns dangerous ultraviolet rays. Ground level ozone however, is a highly reactive gas that according to EPA studies “affects the normal functions of the lung in many healthy people.” Ozone has been a difficult pollutant to control because it is not emitted into the air; it is actually formed in the atmosphere through a photochemical process it is in this process that VOC play a significant role. VOC in the air react with oxides of nitrogen and sunlight to form ozone. So therefore by controlling the VOCs this will be an effective method of minimising ozone levels VOC levels are generally found to be up to 5 times higher in the home or workplace than the outdoors this is due to house hold cleaning products, aerosols disinfectants, and even mothballs being used on a daily basis. VOC levels can increase by a 1000 times when painting or when paint stripping is taking place, and these levels will remain for many hours if not days after the painting has been completed. The painters or the individuals that are painting are exposing themselves to high levels of V.O.C this in turn can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches, loss of coordination, nausea; damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system. Children, individuals with breathing problems and pregnant women should avoid freshly painted areas for 2-3 days. This is even after the paint is dry and doesn’t smell, it will still emit vapors. Regarding your health, this will depend on many factors including the level of exposure to VOC and length of exposure. The ability of Organic Compounds to cause problems to ones health varies greatly. As with other pollutants, the extent and nature of the effect will be directly linked to the length of exposure. Eye and respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, visual disorder and memory impairment are among the immediate symptoms that some people have experienced soon after exposure to VOC. Sick building syndrome is directly attributed to VOC exposure. Many organic Compounds are known to cause cancer in animals and some are suspected of causing, or are known to cause cancer in humans. According to a study done by the “British Medical Journal” Children that are exposed to higher levels of VOCs were 4 times more likely to suffer from asthma than children that were not. Our entire product range conforms to Rule 43 of the The European Protection Agency. The EPA states a level as 15 ppm of C.M.I T* see explanatory note per litre of paint, this in the industry is known as Rule 43. of 2010. Our Premium Paint range is independently verified as MINIMAL VOC, which means it contains less than 1.3 gr per litre of VOC (volatile organic compound). This is classified solvent free. As an ethically green company we strive for good quality product and excellent, informative service. Our paint is tinted at our factory and each batch is checked by ourselves to ensure it is perfect. Our aim is to inspire and encourage people to be as passionate about paint and the environment as we are. Choose your colour…… it will always be green.