Product Review

ECOS Challenges Paint Industry to Disclose Ingredients

ECOS Paints ignored “trade secret” complaints made by other manufacturers and now makes the first paints designated Red List Free for the Living Building Challenge.

January 4, 2015

For a little while, zero-VOC paint was good enough for most green projects. Now, designers concerned about healthy products and trying to meet Living Building Challenge and LEED disclosure requirements are demanding deeper information on paint ingredients, and at least one manufacturer is providing it.

Gleaning ingredient information beyond the high-level ingredients appearing on a material safety data sheet (MSDS) is almost impossible. Companies typically say they can’t divulge their trade secrets, so we can’t know what “proprietary”—and potentially toxic—ingredients are in paints. ECOS Paints is out to change this mindset. The company’s interior paints now list all of their ingredients via a Health Product Declaration and sport a Declare label validating that they are free of Living Building Challenge Red List chemicals. While only sold as residential for now, the paints have a commercial track record, and the company is working to get the necessary testing to verify their quality and sustainability for the commercial market.