Are Earthborn paints natural and organic?

‘Natural’ and ‘organic’ are words that have been borrowed from the food industry. In the paint industry however, these terms have no legal meaning and can be misleading.

‘Natural’ is often used as shorthand hand for ‘healthy, wholesome and eco’. However many traditional, natural ingredients in paint can also be hazardous. Think about lead and turpentine (derived from trees) which are either banned or controlled because of the harmful effect on health and the environment. When people ask for ‘natural’ they usually mean healthy and eco friendly, and those are the criteria we use at Earthborn when formulating our paints.

We would advise to be suspicious of any paint claiming to be a natural paint as there is no such thing as a liquid natural paint in a tin. All paints by necessity contain some synthetic chemicals (for instance water based paints require a preservative to keep them ‘fresh’).

In the chemical industry, ‘organic’ refers to the chemistry of carbon based matter or in other words, living or once-living matter.  As such the petrochemical industry is the world’s largest organic chemical industry. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are carcinogenic and harmful to the environment, which is why their use in paint is strictly controlled by legislation.  Away from the food industry ‘organic’ can have the opposite meaning to what people may think.

Safer to simply use the term ‘eco’!


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