You might be wondering why your local painter and decorator in Surrey is talking about the trend for awareness of indoor air quality, but your choice of paint could be contributing to poor quality air in your home.

Paint can, and historically has, contained volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, which are released slowly over time, reducing the quality of the air you breathe. Considering you spend 90 per cent of your life indoors, according to the BBC, you may see why this could be an issue.

Poor air quality can be linked to a number of issues, there’s even evidence it can lead to a decrease in productivity at work, and more absences at school. There is also evidence pointing to a ‘sick building syndrome’ – a set of symptoms that can include headache, sore throat and nausea, which are linked to spending time in a building.

In paint, VOCs are responsible for that ‘new paint smell’ but the paints you use nowadays have far less VOCs than previous incarnations. That’s because there are stringent rules of the level of emissions a paint can have, and also we’ve moved more towards water-based paints, which generally have less VOC content.

Your hoe’s ventilation pays an important role in its air quality however, so if you believe that your home is poorly ventilated, there are some steps you can take. An indoor air purifier may help to improve the quality of the air you and your family is breathing, but you can also look to choose a paint that is specifically formulated to have negligible VOC content too.

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