New Paint Technology Better for Health and Safety

Construction news website Sourceable.net recently posted an article about the advancements in paint technology which are having positive influences on the health and safety of workers as compared to old fashioned paints.

The new, advanced paint solutions offer both functional and aesthetic benefits as well. Some of the functional benefits include structural reinforcement and better indoor air quality which unlike previous paints does not negatively affect people’s health.

Paint consists of pigments, binders and solvents. Pigments provide the colour for the paint and binders cause the paint to stick to the material being painted. Solvents such as water and mineral spirits carry the binder and the pigment until the paint is applied and then it evaporates. Some paints have additional components, for example to add texture or reflectivity. As the article highlights improvements in the elements that make up the paint, have benefits for workers as well as people inhabiting and working in these structures.

The article goes on to discuss different paints, such as Graphene paint and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Biocides in Paint. The article highlighted the benefits of technologically advanced Graphene paint,

paintGaphene can also repair itself when damaged. Researchers at the University of Manchester, UK, including Konstantin Novoselov, one of the original discoverers of graphene and a Nobel laureate, bombarded damaged graphene sheets with pure carbon. The carbon atoms automatically filled in the gaps in the hexagonal structure of the graphene and restored its strength. This offers the potential for damaged graphene in structures to be repaired relatively quickly and simply.

Graphene’s conductivity also lends itself to production of electricity. Novoselov’s team has also produced paper-thin wafers made from graphene and other thin materials that conduct electricity on par with today’s typical photovoltaic cells. Adding graphene to paint, Novoselov said, may enable them to create paint that generates electricity for the building, an approach similar to solar sensitive nanoparticles.

Source: http://sourceable.net/advances-paint-good-buildings-people/#sthash.ln86dwqt.dpuf

The article goes on to highlight how graphene’s low resistance to electron flow makes it more efficient for photovoltaic cells, an element that  suggests it has the potential to make solar electricity for the built environment cheaper and more accessible.

The benefits of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Biocides in Paint were also highlighted:

Solvents evaporating are one of the issues with VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. Modern paints may contain hundreds or thousands of chemicals, some of which are toxic to humans. Low-VOC and no-VOC paints reduce the number of VOCs, making them healthier for both installers and the occupants or users of the building.

Read more at: http://sourceable.net/advances-paint-good-buildings-people/#sthash.ln86dwqt.dpuf

The writer goes on to explain that even VOC-free paint can contain toxic chemicals but most commercially made paints include additives that inhibit the growth of mould, mildew, bacteria, and fungus. Some of those additives, such as triclosan, methylosothiazolin (MIT), and benzisothiazolin-3-one (BIT), are implicated in a variety of adverse health reactions for painters as well as building inhabitants.

Although painters can be confident that new paint technology is good for their health, especially in the long term where previous paints had adverse effects, painters’ safety also needs to be a priority and the first step to ensuring this is completing construction safety training in the form of The White Card Course.

Posted by Construction Safety News Admin
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