WTF?! Is Chalkboard Paint Toxic?
Is chalkboard paint toxic?
- Well, yes and no.
Chalkboard paint, like all paint, can contain high levels of volatile organic compounds
. . From causing headaches to damaging liver damage, VOCs include a variety of chemicals, and can have short- and long-term adverse health effects. The good news is that VOC levels in paint decrease over time once painted, but that’s still potentially dangerous for the person doing the painting.
So how do you reduce VOC levels in your chalkboard paint?
- Read the label!
When choosing any paint, including chalkboard paint, look for a brand with zero-VOCs or low-VOCs. This is the safest way to limit the toxins in your paint and there are tons of products available that fit the bill. A few brands to consider are ECOS Paints
and Lullaby Paints
So now that I've purchased VOC-free chalkboard paint am I ready to get chalking?
- Not exactly. We were shocked to find out
that other toxic chemicals, carcinogens and heavy metals used in traditional paint aren't even considered VOC by the EPA! So it's important to always read your labels and double check because if it's VOC-free, it may not always mean it's non-toxic.
I've also heard that chalk can be harmful?
Yes to a certain degree. Although the ingredients in chalk are non-toxic, increased exposure to chalk dust over time can lead to respiratory problems. And if you already have a respiratory condition such as asthma, breathing in chalk dust can trigger an attack.
Are there any alternatives to traditional chalk?
- Yes. “Dustless” chalk is now available which produces a much heavier dust that drops to the floor instead of lingering in the air. So while you won’t be breathing in harmful chalk dust, you will be cleaning your floor a lot.
How can you avoid all that chalk dust if you do use traditional chalk?
- Look into and consider using non-toxic chalk pens instead.
Similar to a paint pen, chalk pens are a wet marker that works on chalkboards and wipes off with water. This way you’re not breathing in dust or getting chalk all over your hands.
Alright so now I'm ready to get out there and get to painting and chalking, right?
- Yes just remember to make sure to leave a window open and let home air out as the paint dries.
Do you have any favorite non-toxic chalkboard paints? Let us know in the comments!
And Don’t forget you can ask your pending WTF!? questions by leaving a comment here or via Twitter
with hashtag #NTRWTF
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