I’ve been researching paint and paint companies for well over a year now. While I don’t have a specific paint that I can recommend to others (haven’t taken the painting plunge as of yet), I am beginning to feel as though one company may potentially be safer than the other “environmentally friendly,” no-VOC, no odor companies that are out there. My goal is to find:
- a no-VOC
- Chemical-emitting-off-gassing free
- Corn derivative free
- Soy derivate free
- Latex free … paint for my home.
♫ To dream the impossible dream… ♫
We are in no hurry to paint, that is a task for after diagnoses and treatment; but I would like to be as prepared as possible when the times comes.
Here are some nagging similarities I noticed between the commercial paint companies:
- Most of the companies had a desire to capitalize on the “green” marketing, so they decided to have a “green” product. Unfortunately, after reading the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), it seems that the “green” products are just as toxic as the non-green counterpoint. These companies usually labeled their paint as “low-VOC.”
- Most of the “no-VOC” or “no odor” companies still list either formaldehyde, acetone, ammonia, “ethyl” something or some masking agent on their MSDS. Masking agents are just another unnecessary chemical that hides nauseous fumes that will off gas from the paint. No VOC does not mean no toxic ingredients. These paints can have toxic ingredients exempt from government regulations. Go here to read more
- It took an act of GOD to get a response from these people (I’m still waiting to hear from a few companies). I am so thankful for Google and the ability to search for the MSDS for popular paint manufacturers.
- So many companies use latex based paints…”The majority of emissions from latex paints occurs after the coating has dried.” (see The ABCs about VOCs)
After months of researching the more commercially available paints from Lowe’s, Home Depot, and the like, I finally came across Mythic and AFM Safecoat paints. Thank you, Google. I read all of the MSDS and contacted the companies. Both companies have fantastic customer service and answered all of my question (well…not all) promptly. Please keep in mind, the correspondence occurred May 2012. Manufacturing processing can change very quickly in the avoiding corn/soy/chemicals world. You will need to contact the companies yourself to ensure that the manufacturing processes have not changed.
Corn derivatives are like ninjas when it comes to finding their way into paint. Polyols, organic acids, modified starch, unmodified starch, cellulose, thickening agents, additives are all ways in which corn derivatives can be used in paint. Soy can also be used in the same way as corn. We have to avoid both. …sigh. Here are a few links listing corn derivatives as ingredients in paint manufacturing:
- Good things come from Corn
- It begins with a kernel
- Corn Uses
- The Wonderful World of Corn
- Corn: America’s Renewable Resource
Here are a few links concerning the use of soybean oil and paint:
- SOY COATINGS: POTENTIAL TO REDUCE VOCS AND LOWER RAW MATERIALS COSTS
- Soybean oil based polymers help paint industry reduce VOCs and lower raw material costs
- How Soybeans are Used
The following are the questions I used for contacting Mythic paint and AFM Safecoat concerning chemicals, corn and soy. Please let me know if you have any questions. I am currently awaiting the reply from AFM Safecoat concerning their acrylic copolymer. I want to ensure that it is not derived from soy.
TO AFM SAFECOAT AND MYTHIC PAINT:
Most household paint uses some kind of modified and/or unmodified starch in their manufacturing process and the starch is typically derived from corn.
- I was told your paint is created with MCS sufferers in mind. Does this still hold true? (I removed this question when I emailed Mythic Paint)
- Do you know if any modified and/or unmodified starches are used in the production of your paint as a thickening agent, additive or something else?
- If so, can you research and see if the starch is derived from corn?
- If not, what are the thickening agents and/or additives derived from that your company uses?
- Do you all use any organic acids?
- If so can you research to see if the organic acids are derived from corn or soy?
- Do you all use any polyols in your manufacturing processes?
- If so, can you please research and let us know if they are derived from corn?
We react to many things that are deemed safe by the FDA and even our allergist. My line of questioning comes from purchasing things and attempting to use them with sometimes disastrous results. I understand that some of your ingredients maybe proprietary, but if you can at least tell me if the product would be safe for us based on the aforementioned questions, I would greatly appreciate it.
Thank you for any help you can provide.
AFM SAFECOAT TO ME:
1. “Most household paint uses some kind of modified and/or unmodified starch in their manufacturing process and the starch is typically derived from corn. Do you know if any modified and/or unmodified starches are used in the production of your paint as a thickening agent, additive or something else? If so, is the starch is derived from corn?”
- There is no starch used in the manufacturing process.
2. “If not from corn, what are the thickening agents and/or additives derived from?”
- Cellulose (derived from wood and cotton).
3. “Do you use any organic acids? If so, are they derived from corn or soy?”
- None used.
4. “Do you use any polyols in your manufacturing processes? If so, are they derived from corn?”
- None used.
MYTHIC PAINT TO ME:
Thank you for your interest in Mythic paint products. I have discussed your questions with one of our chemists and have been informed that there is a possibility that our raw materials are manufactured alongside other materials containing corn and/or soy. For this reason, we cannot recommend using our products. We wish you the best in your search.
I would not recommend mythic paint to a corn and/or soy avoider. I would also be hesistant to recommend it to an individual suffering from multiple chemical sensitivity. Their MSDS lists latex, additives, and fillers. “The majority of emissions from latex paints occurs after the coating has dried.” (see The ABCs about VOCs) I appreciate the company’s honestly in telling me to avoid their product due to potential cross contamination issues, but I would have appreciated more specific answers to my questions. If you are a consumer not interesting in avoiding corn and/or soy derivatives, latex and additives/fillers, then Mythic Paint might be good for you. If that fits your description then check out this review. If that doesn’t describe you, check out the comments section on the aforementioned link. These people did not fare well at all with Mythic Paint.
AFM Safecoat might be a possibility for my household. Their MSDS lists water, acrylic copolymer, titanium dioxide, limestone, and calcined kaolin clay on the ingredients list. I am awaiting their reply concerning the the acrylic copolymer and the possibility of soy derivatives. I will update the post when I receive their reply. You can visit this site to see more products offered by AFM Safecoat and to also download other MSDS sheets for those products.
As an aside: Someone on another site mentioned FreshAire Choice paint. I’ve been to the website on Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox and I cannot get the MSDS sheet to download. I searched Google (I love you, Google) and found this information:
- Sodium aluminosilicate
- Titanium dioxide
- Calcined kaolin clay
- Vinyl acetate / Acrylic copolymer
- All in a latex base
You can contact that particular company for more information concerning the source for the suspect ingredients and any hidden ingredients.