Crown Close to Identifying Cause of ‘Wall Odour Phenomenon’

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Over recent months, Crown Paints has been active in researching and tackling an issue known generally in the paint industry as ‘wall odour phenomenon’, and is now close to pinpointing the cause.

Wall odour phenomenon is extremely rare, and is known to have existed in the global paint industry for a number of years and across many different paint brands. Over recent years, reports of the phenomenon have increased slightly in the UK, Europe, the USA and Australia, as manufacturers have reduced the solvent content of their paint products in response to tightening legislation, thus removing the masking agent that would previously have hidden any underlying smells.

Despite that, the chances of encountering wall odour phenomenon remain minuscule at around 1 in 100,000, and there is no evidence of any health and safety side effects.

Wall odour is caused not by paint but by almost undetectable bacteria or chemicals present on the surfaces of a very small number of walls. It is easily prevented or resolved by applying an alkali resistant sealer to any wall prior to painting or repainting.

Crown Paints is leading the way in researching and tackling this industry phenomenon, working closely with independent industry bodies and leading academics. Crown is now close to pinpointing a definitive answer to the problem.

In the meantime, Crown Paints is encouraging any of its customers who think they may be experiencing wall odour phenomenon to visit its painting and decorating advice website for further information at, or to call the customer service team directly on their dedicated helpline, on 0845 521 2499.

For customers of other paint brands who think they are experiencing wall odour, the PRA (Paint Research Association) has a dedicated section within its website, which people can visit for further advice and customer service contact details. That can be found at

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Frank PR
Crown Paint Press Office
020 7693 6999
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