Student Innovation & Creativity Showcase for Lansing Community College

Paint the Town Safe

Paint the Town Safe

A Look into Acrylic Paint and it’s Environmental Impact

Harmful Chemicals

Volatile Organic Compounds

Titanium Dioxide

Biocides: (Used to protect latex) Including arsenic sulphide, phenol, copper, formaldehyde, carbamates, permethrin and quaternary ammonium compounds. 

Titanium Dioxide

During the manufacturing of the paint, the chemical produces runoff in forms of waste streams and chemical pools. From here, the chemicals can enter bodies of water and cause contamination. 

The runoff leads to a loss of habitat and biodiversity within the water systems and surrounding areas. 

The raw materials are taken from scarce resources which will not be able to replenish and eventually be exhausted.

Volatile Organic Compounds

VOCs have a high enough pressure to vaporize into the atmosphere, which contributes to air pollution as well as emit greenhouse gasses.

Acrylic paint holds a 3-7% solvent content, lower than many other paints, but still harmful.

Social Principles of Sustainability Solutions

Integrating natural based acrylic paints into the market and increasing the price of harmful paint brands due to its environmental impact. 

This would also stand as a win win solution because the environment would improve and the revenue from the paint profits would not heavily be affected. 

By switching to sustainable paint brands, it would save the planet from certain consequences and would help preserve earth for future generations. 

Scientific Principles of Sustainability

VOCs and Carbon react to sunlight. By transitioning to more sustainable, safer brands of acrylic paint, it will reduce the amount of VOCs being emitted, resulting in a more sustainable carbon cycle and positive solar energy. 

In addition, the biodiversity is threatened by air and water pollution and would also benefit from the transition.

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Kerr, D. (2017, September 14). Art Is Beautiful. It Could Also Kill You. Here Are 7 Deadly Art Materials to Watch Out For. Retrieved from

(2007, May 28). Paint industry impacts environment: Greenpainters. Retrieved from Paint industry impacts environment: Greenpainters

Paint: Health and The Environment. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Porwal, T. (2015, September). International Journal of Research. Retrieved from

Stratford, H. (2018, April 21). How Paint Pollution Effects the Environment. Retrieved from

Media Description: Poster by Sarah Storey

Instructor: Mindy Wilson

Item Credit: Sarah Storey

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