Traditional paints usually contain high level of benzene, leading to increased levels of this toxic gas in indoor air. Continuous exposure to benzene can have devastating effects on our body (detailed at the end of this article) that is why we should do all we can to limit our exposure to it.
In the previous article click here we discussed some ways to reduce high levels of benzene by using specific plants that can absorb it from the air. Today we will talk about how to reduce benzene levels from the start by creating a home made paint from non-toxic ingredients that you can find in your cupboards. However, this paint will only work for bare wood, plaster, terracotta and clay, and it will not cover emulsion or other paints, so don’t make too much of it in the beginning.
You will need:
2 tbsps artist powder pigment
1 tbsp of bicarbonate soda
6 tbsps hot water
4 tbsp quark (can bee found in the cheese section in the supermarkets)
Beeswax polish to seal the surface
First you will have to prepare your pigment one day before you make the paint. Place the pigment in a bowl and mix it with just enough water to obtain a runny paste with the consistency of a single cream. Leave this overnight to stand.
The second day, dissolve the bicarbonate in the 6 tbsps of hot water.
Place the quark into a large jam jar, then stir in the cooled mixture of bicarbonate and water.
Finally add the pigment and stir until it is well combined with the quark binder.
Leave for an hour and then stir again before using.
When you paint, leave each coat to dry for a few hours before adding another layer on top. It will require several days before it is fully dry, and after this time you can sill it of with a beeswax polish. (How to prepare this in the next post)
Benzene affects humans by causing cells not to work correctly. For example, it can cause bone marrow not to produce enough red blood cells, which can lead to anemia. Also, it can damage the immune system by changing blood levels of antibodies and causing the loss of white blood cells. The seriousness of poisoning caused by benzene depends on the amount, route, and length of time of exposure, as well as the age and preexisting medical condition of the exposed person.