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Preservative-free Colors - Colors (not Only) For Allergy Sufferers

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Preservative-free Colors - Colors (not Only) For Allergy Sufferers
Preservative-free Colors - Colors (not Only) For Allergy Sufferers

Video: Preservative-free Colors - Colors (not Only) For Allergy Sufferers

Video: Preservative-free Colors - Colors (not Only) For Allergy Sufferers
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For many customers, the health aspect is at the top of the list of criteria when choosing interior colors. For years, this requirement has met low-emission, solvent and plasticizer-free products. For some time now, preservative-free paints have been coming onto the market. What is the reason for this and when and for whom does it make sense?

Author: Susanne Sachsenmaier-Wahl

Colors containing preservatives have repeatedly come under criticism. Are paints containing preservatives generally dangerous? Or are they "only" a risk for allergy sufferers? Are there any alternatives to preservative-free paints, and how are these paints priced? The Malerblatt has looked around in the paint industry.

The biocide isothiazolinone in emulsion paints is causing concern. Preservatives such as B. isothiazolinones protect water-based paints and varnishes from microbial attack and thus from spoilage. “Without preservatives, around a third of the colors would spoil in a bucket in a short time before they reach the consumer. For most water-based inks, preservation is therefore the only sensible way to protect them from microbial contamination.”You can read this on the homepage of the Association of the German Lacquer and Printing Ink Industry (VdL).

First of all: Isothiazolinones are still permitted in the production of paints, even paints that bear the Blue Angel environmental label may still contain isothiazolinones, for example if they are (silk) shiny or colored pigmented. Isothiazolinones are not only contained in paints and varnishes, but also in cleaning agents and - yes, you read that correctly! - in a variety of cosmetics, for example in soaps or shampoos. It should only be mentioned in passing that most consumers come into contact with these products much more often than with wall paints. On the homepage of the VdL you can even read: "In Germany, not a single case is known in which a consumer has developed sensitization through paints or varnishes."

Nevertheless, people who have developed an allergy to isothiazolinones already react to the smallest amounts. Preservatives in paints are also a problem for this customer group.

But prefer without?

Even allergy sufferers don't have to do without a coat of paint. Preservative-free wall paints have been available for several years. Wolfgang Hoffmann, brand ambassador at Caparol: “We have long been concerned with preservative-free interior paints. Caparol Sensitiv was the first emission-minimized, solvent- and preservative-free interior wall paint to be launched on the market back in 2001.”What requirements does a wall paint have to meet to be considered“preservative-free”? Hoffmann: “A color is only considered to be free of preservatives if it contains less than 2ppm of preservative. “Rainer Troppmair, Head of Development Building Colors at Adler, adds:“One product,that is marked with the H317 ("May cause an allergic skin reaction") or EUH208 ("May cause an allergic reaction") must never be declared as "biocide-free / preservative-free", even if other triggers are the cause. "For Kirstin Willers, Product Manager Dispersions at Brillux, these definitions do not go far enough: “We are convinced that no preservatives should really be used here. Our preservative-free dispersions therefore do entirely without. "“We are convinced that no preservatives should really be used here. Our preservative-free dispersions therefore do entirely without. "“We are convinced that no preservatives should really be used here. Our preservative-free dispersions therefore do entirely without."

Preservative-free colors: pH value and industrial hygiene

With regard to the "classic" preservatives, the statement "free of preservatives" is met with compliance with the limit values. However, these colors must also be protected against microbial attack. "Caparol already applied for a patent in 2002," Wolfgang Hoffmann lets us know. "It is based on the fact that the pH value of the color is set so high that no bacteria can form permanently." The Federal Environment Agency points out that the high pH value may also have negative health effects - such as skin irritation or Eye damage - can come. This is less to be feared by skilled tradesmen due to proper handling. However, if the color is given to the handyman, it may have to be pointed out.

There are further or additional measures to formulate wall paints without the use of in-can preservatives, explains Thorsten Ehrhardt, Head of Technology at Meffert: "Starting with the selection of the raw materials used, through special process engineering and operational hygiene measures to filling, this is a holistic process." Troppmaier adds that proper storage must also be ensured. The absence of preservatives makes the production of these colors more complex in any case. Since no biocides protect the color from microbial contamination, it must be worked particularly clean. Filling system, packaging material must be almost sterile. This is the only way to ensure that the paint enters the bucket without being contaminated. The additional measures with regard to industrial hygiene are also reflected in the product prices. Troppmaier speaks of about 15 percent, which must be added to a preservative-free paint of comparable quality at Adler. Thorsten Ehrhardt differentiates: “Due to the high demands on the raw materials used, the more complex production processes and the high costs in the area of industrial hygiene, preservative-free products are significantly more expensive. In terms of entry-level quality, these costs will flow into percentage pricing more than for high-quality paints.”Diessner does not consider the price difference to be the decisive criterion:“Depending on the retailer's pricing, our CleanAir paints are between 25-50 cents per square meter compared to our conventional products expensive. So the price cannot be the argument against preservative-free paints. The tradesman should seize the opportunity and set himself apart from his competitors with advice.”At Caparol, price differences are obviously skeptical, as Wolfgang Hoffmann explains:“Adjusting the sales prices would be the logical consequence. Due to the high level of competition, this additional price cannot be implemented in the market. Our colors are the same price, which is another argument for the painter to use such colors: more benefits at the same price.”As Wolfgang Hoffmann explains: “Adjusting the sales prices would be the logical consequence. Due to the high level of competition, this additional price cannot be implemented in the market. Our colors are the same price, which is another argument for the painter to use such colors: more benefits at the same price.”As Wolfgang Hoffmann explains: “Adjusting the sales prices would be the logical consequence. Due to the high level of competition, this additional price cannot be implemented in the market. Our colors are the same price, which is another argument for the painter to use such colors: more benefits at the same price.”

Only preservative-free colors?

At the latest with this statement, one must of course ask whether one should not then generally use preservative-free colors. André Protze, Product Manager at Diessner, has a clear opinion: “The proportion of allergy sufferers is steadily increasing. As the craftsman does not tell the customer in the consultation whether he is reacting to the preservatives in a newly painted room, for safety reasons, each consultation should be questioned as to whether a conventional or a preservative-free product should be offered. You can't demonize normal interior paints, but you can give a hint to this new level of quality.”Wolfgang Hoffmann also recommends that the painter switch to preservative-free paints:“Emission-minimized,Solvent-free and preservative-free paints meet the customer's request for high living quality and healthy living. Product demand will increase in the future. I can only recommend the painter to always use such products in sensitive living areas. This is an additional benefit and brings security. Conventional colors will change due to new legislation, because from the end of 2019 they will have to be re-labeled in accordance with the CLP regulation. "because from the end of 2019, these will then have to be re-labeled in accordance with the CLP regulation. "because from the end of 2019, these will then have to be re-labeled in accordance with the CLP regulation."

As a rule, harmless

Thorsten Ehrhardt is more open to the discussion: “Allergies to the in-can preservatives used in paints occur in people who are sensitized, for example through frequent contact with detergents and cleaning agents or cosmetics. The majority of the population has no problems with canned products and can continue to use them.”Rainer Troppmaier estimates the situation similarly:“Even conventional wall paints with preservatives are generally harmless to health, and are still justified. The preservatives used ensure a longer shelf life and thus also the quality and ultimately increase customer satisfaction. However, since the preservatives e.g. T. have an allergy-triggering potential, it is important to be able to offer the customer alternatives. In the long term, it is conceivable that preservatives will be completely eliminated or that new technical alternatives will be developed to make products more durable. "Kirstin Willers further demarcates the areas of application of preservatives-free and containing paints:" Because the number of people who use Isothiazolinone are allergic, is very low, conventional colors still have their reason for being. Any customer without this allergy or awareness can use "conventionally preserved" products without hesitation. "“Since the number of people who are allergic to isothiazolinones is very small, conventional colors still have their reason for being. Any customer without this allergy or awareness can use "conventionally preserved" products without hesitation. "“Since the number of people who are allergic to isothiazolinones is very small, conventional colors still have their reason for being. Any customer without this allergy or awareness can use "conventionally preserved" products without hesitation."

The manufacturers agree that the use of preservative-free paints should be a matter of course for allergy sufferers. "If allergic reactions have already occurred in the past when using cosmetics, detergents and cleaning agents or paints, the use of a preservative-free paint is the only right decision," says Thorsten Ehrhardt. André Protze goes even further: “Why enter pollutants in a room when there are products without these pollutants? Most of us spend most of the day indoors. Whether at work, in the apartment or our children in schools and daycare centers. In our view, the customer should decide which products he would like to have processed on his surfaces."

It should not be forgotten that - despite the strict hygiene measures in production - preservative-free paints have a much lower shelf life compared to paints containing preservatives. The colors last about a third less unopened. When the paint is opened, bacteria immediately enter the paint through the room air. Washed out brushes or even diluting the paint with water lead to a rapid decrease in durability. Preservative-free paint should therefore be processed quickly. The storage of leftovers is almost impossible.

Something else you should know: While a flood of preservative-free white qualities has spilled onto the market, the tinted products look very different. At Caparol, only factory tints can currently be produced without preservatives. We learn from Rainer Troppmaier that Adler also has a need for further development in the tinting pastes: “From a technical point of view, we have to add preservatives to our pigment pastes in the tinting stations, as this would lead to massive problems with durability and hygiene. That is why tinted wall paints are no longer free of preservatives, but the proportion of preservatives is low.”At Diessner you are one step further:"With our preservative-free tinting system, the products remain preservative-free even after tinting. We can guarantee this at the factory and at some wholesale locations. We are working on increasing the density of tinting machines in the trade,”André Protze lets us know. Brillux also has a solution for the preservative-free wall paint Vitalux 9000: “Even after tinting (with special preservative-free pastes), Vitalux 9000 is still preservative-free, even in intensive colors. With Vitamix 9018, Vitalux 9000 and all interior silicate colors from Brillux can be tinted manually without preservatives.”to increase the density of the toning machines in the trade,”André Protze lets us know. Brillux also has a solution for the preservative-free wall paint Vitalux 9000: “Even after tinting (with special preservative-free pastes), Vitalux 9000 is still preservative-free, even in intensive colors. With Vitamix 9018, Vitalux 9000 and all interior silicate colors from Brillux can be tinted manually without preservatives.”to increase the density of the toning machines in the trade,”André Protze lets us know. Brillux also has a solution for the preservative-free wall paint Vitalux 9000: “Even after tinting (with special preservative-free pastes), Vitalux 9000 is still preservative-free, even in intensive colors. With Vitamix 9018, Vitalux 9000 and all interior silicate colors from Brillux can be tinted manually without preservatives.”With Vitamix 9018, Vitalux 9000 and all interior silicate colors from Brillux can be tinted manually without preservatives.”With Vitamix 9018, Vitalux 9000 and all interior silicate colors from Brillux can be tinted manually without preservatives.”

Preservative-free paints are probably not yet suitable as a "general-purpose weapon". They don't necessarily have to, as Wolfgang Hoffmann summarizes: “From our point of view, it makes sense to use such products in sensitive living areas. In the garage or warehouse, the focus is different."

Silicate as an alternative?

There remains the question of whether allergy sufferers could simply use silicate paint instead of preservative-free emulsion paint. Kirstin Willers: "There is really nothing to be said against this." André Protze has no objections either, but adds: "There is nothing to be said against the principle. However, the effort in preparation is often higher and the result is worse, especially with grazing light areas or when repairing the area. That is why it was so important to us to find recipes based on dispersions.”Rainer Troppmaier also underlines this assessment:“In principle there is nothing to be said against this - however, “natural” colors (silicate, lime, clay colors) cannot be expected to perform as well of modern emulsion paints. This is also about processing, surface quality and durability (e.g. Cleanability, wet abrasion resistance etc.).”Thorsten Ehrhardt also breaks a lance for the dispersion paint:“The product categories mentioned can be an alternative, but the most universal product is the classic dispersion coating. It is easy and safe to use, achieves high-quality coatings and offers good value for money.”

VdL information on preservatives is available here:

bit.ly/3e0J8Dx

Thorsten Ehrhardt, Head of Technology at Meffert

The majority of the population has no problems with canned products and can continue to use them.

Wolfgang Hoffmann, Caparol brand ambassador

Caparol Sensitiv, the world's first emission

-minimized, solvent-free and preservative-free

interior wall paint, was launched in 2001.

André Protze, product manager at Diessner

The question is: Why

enter pollutants in a room when there are products

without these pollutants?

Rainer Troppmaier, Head of Development Building Colors at Adler

You can not expect “natural” colors

(silicate, lime, clay) the

same performance as

modern dispersion paints.”

Kirstin Willers, Product Manager Dispersions at Brillux

We are convinced

that no

preservatives should really be

used here: Our

preservative-free dispersions therefore do entirely without them.

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