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the review room


The Reclaimed & Reloved Review Room


Over the last twenty years I have seen some amazing advances in the technology of paint and products, which are now safer for you and the environment than ever before. I endeavour to keep my workshop as environmentally friendly as possible and love the fact that I use a fusion of old and new techniques to create my work and today, as part of that innovation, consideration of my client's wellbeing as well the eco impact of the materials I use, is paramount. Because I am so passionate about my craft and the impact of my work on the environment, I have put together this review section to write about existing and emerging products on the market, their performance and how eco-friendly they are.  



The VOC Story


Every type of paint has a VOC level, that’s Volatile Organic Compounds to you and me. The law regulates VOC levels and although harmful, VOCs are not typically acutely toxic but they do have compounding long-term side effects. They cause low-level ozone and can be a hazard to health, crops and forests. By buying low or VOC free paint and products you can reduce the dangers to yourself and the planet. Four years ago, the EU’s Paint Product Directive came into force drastically reducing the amount of VOCs in paint. But, and here’s the rub, just because chemical levels have been lowered doesn’t mean materials are automatically environmentally friendly and just because a product is natural, doesn't necessarily mean its safe - turpentine is derived from a natural plant but it is also carcinogenic.


However this isn’t the whole eco picture; the carbon footprint (the total sets of greenhouse gas emissions caused by an organization, its buildings, processes, products and personnel) also has to be taken into account if you want to be really sure that you are being as eco friendly as possible.


When buying paint and associated products:


- Always read the label on a paint tin to check what is in it;


- Look for the EU Ecolabel (flower) label


- Look for the the VOC (globe) standard


- Look for the AllergyUK Approval (leaf) mark


- Check manufacturer Carbon Footprint Statement


- Check manufacturers Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

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If you are unsure about a paint, email or telephone the paint manufacturers or distributers to check its eco credentials - smaller companies may not have this information on their paint tins or website but are normally happy to explain why their product is considered eco friendly.