By Popular Demand: A List of Safer Paints

HBN | November 2020 | Newsletter

We want to make it easier than ever for you to select safer paints for your project. Through our HomeFree Program, we’ve compiled a list of some safer paints. 

This list is not an exhaustive list of all safer paints, and is not an endorsement or certification of the manufacturer or products listed. These products were screened using manufacturer-supplied information and not independently tested or verified. We have selected only 1-2 examples from each manufacturer, focused on interior latex eggshell paint. Some bases1 may have higher VOC levels or contain APEs - check with your supplier before purchasing. Some colorant systems may add APEs, VOCs or other chemicals of concern - check with your supplier before purchasing. 

Company

Brand

Sheen

Other Identifier

Benjamin Moore & Co

Natura® Waterborne Interior Paint & Primer *

Eggshell

513

Ultra Spec 500® Interior *

Eggshell

N538

Dunn-Edwards

EVEREST® Low Odor/Zero VOC Interior*

Eggshell

Ever30

Imperial Paints, LLC

ECOS® Interior * 

Eggshell

KP

Sherwin-Williams

ProMar® 200 Zero VOC Interior Latex

Eg-Shel

 

Solo® 100% Acrylic Interior/Exterior

Eg-Shel

 

*The products in bold had published HPDs or Declare labels disclosed to 100ppm with an alternative surfactant listed as of November 2020.
 

Why are these paints considered safer? 

Our Paint Hazard Spectrum details our guidance around selecting safer paints, including consideration of the use or release of hazardous chemicals at any stage in the product’s life cycle. The paints listed above are ranked light green or higher on the spectrum, meaning they are best in class for interior latex paints. These paints are free of a specific class of chemicals, alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs), which can disrupt the hormone system, and are also low in volatile organic compound (VOC) content and low in VOC emissions. 

Today, there should be no reason that anyone is using an interior paint that is lower than light green on the spectrum, as safer paints are widely available that can meet your cost and performance requirements.  

Other Resources

We’ve also published paint specification language that provides drop-in specifications for materials that meet the HomeFree healthier material guidance, educational context to explain to project teams why healthier materials are important, and examples of specific products that meet the specifications in addition to those listed above.

If you are pursuing the new Enterprise Green Communities 2020 Criteria, your project can earn up to two points for specifying APE-free paints. 

Confident Safer Paint Selections

Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) is a nonprofit developer, owner and operator of more than 11,000 affordable homes in eleven states and the District of Columbia who has chosen a safer, APE-free paint across their entire portfolio of housing projects. They are among the leaders in the real estate field moving to safer products.

“For our portfolio-wide building standards, the Basis of Design, we chose Sherwin Williams Pro Mar 200 because we are confident it meets our healthy materials goals, as well as our cost and durability needs,” said Katelin Morgan of POAH.

POAH and many other leading real estate developers, building owners, architects, and contractors are making the switch to safer paints, and so can you. Our research shows that while some manufacturers are still using APEs, they are no longer the most commonly used surfactant in interior latex paints. Now that you know, you can specify a safer paint in your next project.

Footnotes

[1]  Bases refer to variations on the base paint formulation used to achieve specific colors (e.g. deep, extra white, antique white, etc)