Skip to main content

Beware of the VOCs

Attention! VOC paint contains Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). VOC concentration calculated as gr per liter is indicated on the label of each paint product.
Volatile compounds
VOCs are harmful chemicals, carbon-containing substances, that are released by paint at the drying process into the air. When a paint is used indoors, VOCs can be inhaled.

Extra attention should be paid to the VOC information on the paint packaging or in the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) or Technical Data Sheet (TDS). Depending on the VOC concentration, indoor paint products can be classified into the following categories:

  • < 1 gr/l

    Zero VOC paint
  • < 10 gr/l

    Low VOC Paint
  • < 50 gr/l

    EU allowed VOC paint
  • > 50 gr/l

    High VOC pain

Allowed limits of the VOC according to the EU green public procurement criteria

Maximum VOC limits have been set for each type of paint products and it is not allowed to exceed them. If different standards are considered, the limits may change.

  • 10 gr/l
    Interior matt walls and ceilings (Gloss <25@60°)
  • 15 gr/l
    Primers and binding primers
  • 25 gr/l
    Exterior walls of mineral substrate
  • 40 gr/l
    Interior matt walls and ceilings (Gloss <25@60°)
  • 50 gr/l
    Interior and Exterior minimal build woodstains
  • 65 gr/l
    Interior trim varnishes and woodstains, including opaque woodstains
  • 75 gr/l
    Exterior trim varnishes and woodstains, including opaque woodstains
  • 80 gr/l
    Decorative effect coatings
    Interior/Exterior trim and cladding paints for wood and metal
    One-pack performance coatings
    Two-pack reactive performance coatings for specific end use such as floors
VOCs include a variety of chemicals that can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, shortness of breath, headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness and skin problems. Higher concentrations may cause irritation of the lungs, as well as damage to the liver, kidney, or central nervous system.