That vertigo you feel while painting the living room might not be from the tall ladder. Most commercial paints emit harmful fumes containing volatile organic compounds, also known as VOCs, many of which, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, cause cancer.

But before you settle for a peeling wall or resort to faux paneling, try non-VOC paint. Made from clays, minerals and natural pigments, these interior paints contain no harmful compounds, yet come in a full range of colors and are available in flat, semi-gloss and primer. And without the hazardous chemicals, it’s easier to dispose of the can and leftover paint. A full list of non- or low-VOC paints and paint strippers is available at