In a country like the Philippines where pollution has remained an unsolvable problem for decades, to see that the Filipino government has finally come to taking baby steps in cleaning its capital city is bliss: painting the metro with the first kind of paint that reduces air pollution.
So what is in this paint that cleanses the air?
The eco paint versus the conventional ones
The commercial house paint contains Volatile Organic Compounds—plasticizers, pigments, biocides, solvents and hardeners—that are harmful to the human body. VOCs, which are mixed with the paint to give it a denser texture, once applied on a solid surface, evaporate and escape to the air and turn into airborne pollutants that affect the purity of oxygen.
Low-VOC, or the water-based paint, was introduced to the market a few years ago to alleviate the harm that conventional paint gives, but EPA—or the United States Environmental Protection Agency—says that this kind of paint is just 5 grams less in volatile compounds content than the conventional, which means that it still contains HAPs (hazardous air pollutants) that cause several respiratory and metabolic illnesses.
On the other hand, eco-friendly paint, or the certified green paint, in EPA’s standards is certified safe. It contains ultrafine titanium oxide that absorbs energy from light and transforms water vapor into hydroxyl and peroxyl atoms that break down air pollutants and convert them into harmless quantities that purify the air.