While these petroleum-based products can emit gases for months or years, the most severe gas emission occurs in the first few days after application. If you're looking for a greener alternative to traditional floor finishes, opt for water-based products, which contain between 50 and 250 grams of VOC per liter. VOCs are emitted into the air as soon as the cans of the product are opened, when each coat is applied with a brush, and again when the stains are drying. Harmful vapors are harmful to the respiratory system and can mix with other air pollutants and contribute to smog.
VOCs can even eventually combine with nitrogen oxide and sunlight to form what is known as the ground level or “bad ozone”, which has been shown to cause a variety of health and environmental problems. Conventional oil-based stains that contain higher levels of VOC are also poisonous to the skin and must be removed from brushes with stripper or other chemical agents. You've heard how important it is to apply wood stain to well-ventilated areas, right? Or even use a mask when dyeing? Now you know why. Wood dye is toxic during the application and drying processes, but is not toxic after a 30-day cure.
Most wood dyes are not tested for food safety and therefore cannot be labeled as food-safe, but are manufactured in accordance with FDA regulations. Each time the stain dries and its solvent evaporates, it will release a volatile organic compound, or VOC. This is the one that can contribute to air pollution and can also cause health problems. That's why, when looking for a wood dye, you should look at its VOC content.
The lower the VOC, the better it will be for you. Oil-based or synthetic dyes with acrylic or urethane binders may contain harmful chemicals and release high levels of VOC. These stains are more water resistant than water-based stains and are most often used outdoors. Whether you're about to embark on your first wood dye project or you're a frequent DIY dyer, it's a good idea to learn about the products you plan to bring to your home.
Wood dyes, which can be oil- or water-based, contain dyes or pigments that penetrate the wood to accentuate the grain. Water-based wood stain is slightly more expensive than oil-based dye and often requires more layers of dye to achieve a robust color, but it might be worth it for a safer product. Minwax Wood Finish Stain 250 VOC dye is an oil-based wood stain that provides a long-lasting wood color. However, there are a number of edible products that can act as wood dye, if you want to use a truly food-safe wood dye.
If you consider a petroleum-based wood dye, then they are the ones that are considered to be very harmful to the environment. Ultimately, the stain is covered with another finish, and even if it wasn't, given a full cure time, the stains should be OK to come into contact with food. Low-VOC wood dyes not only protect your family's health, but they're also much easier to clean afterwards, since only soap and water are required. If you used a rag to apply wood stain or to wipe off excess dye, you should leave the rag in a horizontal position to dry, otherwise it could burn spontaneously.
But water-based wood dye contains no hazardous binders than traditional oil-based wood dyes and is therefore significantly less toxic as a result. Second, wood dyes are formulated to meet FDA food safety regulations, but are not tested for the actual designation. Transparent wood finishes: varnishes, lacquers, natural oils and water-based finishes protect wood from moisture or sunlight. .