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'Zero VOC Paint' is a scientific impossibility

Here’s our latest advert which hits the shelves today


“VOC’s – from minimal to zero”.

On a technical level; whilst ‘zero VOCs’ is a scientific impossibility (there are traces of VOCs in the air we breath), Little Greene waterbased paints now contain less than 0.1% ‘volatile organic compound’, which is three times better than the industry’s lowest eco rating.

On a user level; there are no harmful solvents in Little Greene waterbased paints so using them won’t contribute to atmospheric pollution. Not one little bit…

This makes our range of Water Based paints as close to ‘Zero VOC’ as you can get, meaning they are excellent for painting Children’s rooms, for asthma sufferers, or if like us you value the environment.

Our lowest VOC water based paint is Waterbased Limewash Paint, which is great for traditional exterior walls, and Acrylic Satin Emulsion Paint, which gives a lovely finish on walls, ceilings and painting over wallpaper.

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  • Tom White Eco Decorator

    I think there is to much emphasis on VOC levels.
    You can have low VOC levels in paint that is fall of chemicals.

  • Andy

    It’s a good point Tom – VOC levels are just one aspect of making one paint more environmentally friendly than another. In fact the emissions in a single can of paint are very small compared to standing behind a car with its engine running, for example. VOC emissions refer solely to chemicals released when using the paint and don’t represent the true ‘footprint’ or lifecycle of paint as a product – from the sourcing of raw materials, manufacture and transportation, to its application and subsequent new life in your home. It’s also true that some manufacturers are happy to use hugely inferior ingredients and create a paint with a short lifespan; an approach that asks much bigger questions on the subject of environmental friendliness. At Little Greene we are committed to making paints of the highest quality with the lowest possible impact on the planet, and we actively seek out opportunities to improve the environmental performance of the company and our products on an ongoing basis – we have always held this philosophy and we continue to work to what we have called The Greene Standard.

  • Anne-patrice

    I think Andy is missing the very important point Tom is making. I presume he was not referring to the environment he was referring to health. Upun researching the topic it appears there’s a lot of greenwashing going on. Companies aiming to be extremely low VOC but using more harmful chemicals to be odour free and fit in the current legislative remit using other chemicals which do also cause potentially serious health issues but which are under the radar for now. I’ll be looking into the material data safety sheet for The little Green to see for myself tomorrow. So here’s hoping it’s usable and safe for my family!