How long does offgassing continue after applying normal paint?

Asked by Elana Campbell
Longmont, CO

What is the best type of paint to use for a nursery? We are wondering how long before our baby is due we should paint the nursery, and how long the toxins will offgas. Will it offgas as long as the paint is on the walls, or does it fade over time? We have the same questions for installing new carpeting. Is there a low-VOC carpet?


Answered by Douglas Drew

April 1, 2010

Some latex paints can take up to 3.5 years to outgas toxins; the best paint to use is any paint that has zero VOCs. Pittsburgh Paints, Sherwin Williams, Home Depot and Lowe's all carry zero-VOC coatings. As far as carpet goes, you will have to check with the manufacturer and make sure your installer uses a low- to zero-VOC adhesive.

For more information:

To learn more about low-VOC options, read GreenHomeGuide's Know-How article "Selecting Green Paint."

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