Paint has come a long way since Stone Age man first discovered the colorful potential of pigments created from crushed rocks and earth. From using egg as a binder to oil paints and then the mass production process during the Industrial Revolution and the advent of acrylics in the 1940s paint has continued to develop.
Now with the application of modern technological innovations there are paints for a whole host of uses that you may not even have thought of - you can even paint your tarmac if the notion takes you!
One of the major developments in recent years is 'safe paint' with one manufacturer claiming 'Baby-Safe even if chewed & eaten' - quite amazing considering the combination of potentially hazardous chemicals that make up most paints.
Colour now plays a major part in the marketing of paint with many manufacturers declaring their 'colour of the season' each year. The trend reports from the London and New York catwalks for spring/summer 2018 show we're set to see a season of saturated colour! Bold & bright will not only be taking centre stage in everyone's wardrobe but making an impact in the home too with paint companies tempting us with a host of intense hot-house hues!
Child friendly paint and VOCs
Parents who are concerned about the harmful ingredients used in traditional paints when painting a child's room will be pleased to know that there are now new child safe paints. These paints are being marketed as being especially safe to use for children’s rooms and nurseries – with no harmful fumes or toxic ingredients.
So what is the difference is between these new paints and ordinary emulsion paint you might find for sale in a DIY store? The main difference really is that these paints have been certified to British Standard BS EN 71-3:1995 which sets out strict standards for ingredients used in coatings and lacquers used on toys.
Many of these chemical additives are found in numerous consumer products such as petrol, glue, correction fluid and colored markers - which goes some way to explaining their strong smell and why you should use them in a well-ventilated space. Even cosmetics, mothballs, air fresheners and household cleaning supplies contain VOCs. Because they're volatile, these compounds vaporize and emit gasses, even long after they've dried. Paint for example, emits only half of its VOCs in the first year.
What Are the Risks Associated with VOCs?
It has been reported that VOCs have been linked to a range of health problems, including some very serious diseases. Benzene is one of several VOCs that are known to cause cancer. Other health effects include kidney damage, liver damage, damage to the central nervous system (including the brain), as well as minor complaints like headaches and eye, throat and nose irritation.
It is believed that paint and paint products are the second-largest source of VOCs after cars.
Rethink what you use paint for
After six years of product development, Ian West and John Ashworth created the world’s first complete range of odourless, solvent-free, non-toxic decorative paints.
Today Lakeland Paints lead the child-safe paint manufacturing sector and has a range innovative paint products for a range of specialist uses including one which can help to clean the air!
They also make a shielding wall paint that gives up to 98% shielding against ELF/VLF/EMR radiations. Low frequency (ELF) electric and magnetic fields (EMF) are all around us and there is concern that too much exposure from these radiations in the home could produce adverse health consequences. The shielding paint is applied to walls and ceilings first and can then be decorated over.
Solar paint offers endless energy from water vapour
In Australia, at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) researchers have developed a paint that can be used to generate clean energy.
The paint combines the titanium oxide already used in many wall paints with a new compound: synthetic molybdenum-sulphide. The latter acts in a similar way to the silica gel packaged with many consumer products to keep them free from damage by absorbing moisture.
The RMIT's website explains that the material absorbs solar energy as well as moisture from the surrounding air. It can then split the water into hydrogen and oxygen, collecting the hydrogen for use in fuel cells or to power a vehicle.
Though the paint isn't expected to be commercially viable for at least five years, the researchers do believe that the end product will be cheap to produce. The paint could be effective in a variety of climates, from damp environments to hot and dry ones near large bodies of water - any place that has water vapor in the air, even remote areas far from obvious sources of water, could produce fuel.