Understanding Paint Components:
According to University of Missouri Extension, most paint has four components: resin, solvent, pigment and additives. To determine the hazardous ingredients of paint, request a Material Safety Data Sheet from the retailer when you buy it. The resin is the main ingredient and forms a coating or film on the surface being painted. This typically non-hazardous component includes linseed, acrylic or other synthetic resins. The solvent keeps the paint in a liquid form until the solvent evaporates after the paint is applied. The solvent in oil-based paint is derived from a petroleum distillate and can include such hazardous ingredients as mineral spirits, toluene and xylene. The solvent in latex paint is water. Pigments provide the color and opacity or covering power. The major pigments used presently are titanium oxide, iron oxide, calcium sulfate, clay or silicates. These pigments are relatively nontoxic. Some highly colored pigments may contain heavy metals such as chromium, cadmium or arsenic. Paints purchased before 1977 may contain lead in the pigment. Lead, also a heavy metal, is poisonous. Do not use paint purchased prior to 1977. To determine if the painted surfaces in your home contain lead, contact your local health department or a lead paint removal contractor.
Paint may also have additives. Some types of additives include stabilizers that prevent paint deterioration in the can, dryers that assist in the formation of the paint coating, thickeners that aid in application, and preservatives that inhibit the growth of molds. The additives can range in composition, including both hazardous and non-hazardous ingredients. Some latex paints contain a mercury-based fungicide preservative. Mercury is a heavy metal that is highly toxic. Paints containing mercury produced since August 1990 had to be labeled exclusively for exterior use.
Proper Paint Storage:
- Store the tightly sealed paint can upside-down, so that the paint will form a seal around the lid.
- Store paint cans in dry areas that will not freeze.
- Store paint cans away from sources of spark or flame.
For questions regarding Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District programs and/or technical assistance on water or soil questions, visit http://warrenswcd.com or call, 513-695-1337.
The Warren County Solid Waste District provides latex paint only recycling. Paint should be dropped off at the Warren County Administration Building, 406 Justice Drive, Lebanon, OH 45036. The drop-off center is located in the rear of the parking lot and is open weekdays dawn to dusk. Please limit your drop-off amounts to 10 cans per week. Please note that this recycling program is not for businesses. For other types of paint, such as oil-based, simply sop up the paint with kitty litter (or similar product), place in a sturdy garbage bag and put out with your regular trash. For questions about paint recycling program, contact the solid waste district at 513-695-1209 or go to https://www.co.warren.oh.us/solidwaste/.