YOLO Colorhouse, the Oregon-based paint manufacturer focused on environmental finishes, has achieved Green Seal-certification for its entire line of interior and exterior latex paint—making it the first paint company to earn the recently tightened GS-11 standard for Paint and Coatings.
By adjusting the levels of VOCs allowed in base paint and including criteria for colorants, the new standard ensures that even a heavily tinted paint will still contain minimum VOCs. YOLO Colorhouse paint was previously certified under the GS-11 environmental standard for Paints, but the company is the first to achieve the new level of certification, revised in May 2008.
The newly certified YOLO Colorhouse paints work harder to protect indoor air quality, contain less hazardous chemicals, reduce VOC (volatile organic compound) levels and expand consumer education.
All YOLO Colorhouse coatings are free of carcinogens, formaldehyde, phthalates, hazardous air pollutants and ozone depleting compounds.
“YOLO Colorhouse has demonstrated that the challenges posed in the revised standard can be met,” said Dr. Arthur Weissman, president and CEO of Green Seal. “We are proud to put our mark on such innovative and environmentally responsible products.”
Green Seal has been certifying architectural paints since 1993.
“Certified paints have fewer chemicals and low or no VOCs, so they have less impact on the environment and indoor air quality, and they perform as well as, or better than, other conventional paints,” the organization said in a statement. “The groundbreaking 2008 revision of the standard reflects technological improvements in paint and provides even more information to consumers.”
“We’re proud to demonstrate that beautiful, durable finishes and clean air are not mutually exclusive,” said Virginia Young, co-founder of YOLO Colorhouse. “There are more than 1,000 specified chemical compounds found in many paints that are now prohibited by the new GS-11 2008 certification. YOLO Colorhouse’s formula passed this stringent test verifying the purity of our formula.”
Under the new standard, manufacturers are required to include instructions for buying only what is needed for a project so there is less leftover paint. For times when there may be leftover paint, the label should encourage recycling or proper disposal. Leftover latex paint, in many cases, can be recycled and made into a new product.
Measurement of VOCs has historically been an imprecise process. The lower the VOC level, the more difficult it has been to get an accurate measure. The new Green Seal certification incorporates a more direct test method that produces a more accurate reading of VOCs and other toxic chemicals, as the amount is reduced. The new testing process is estimated to be 10 times more effective in measuring exact VOC levels.
Many painters are not aware that they can increase the VOC levels by adding colorants to the base paint. For most paints the darker the tint, the higher the VOC of the final blend. Green Seal’s updated GS-11 is the first paint standard in the US to reduce the VOC levels of colorants. By adjusting the levels of VOCs allowed in base paint and including criteria for colorants, the new standard ensures that even a heavily tinted paint will still contain minimum VOCs.