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Know Paint’s Your VOC Content?

Painting can be dangerous because of the paint fumes. The reason they are dangerous is because of the volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) found in the paint fumes. Knowing the VOC content of the paint that you use is important because you need to be sure you know how much to ventilate and also how important it is to not inhale the fumes if there are children or pregnant women around. But rest assured, because there are many things you can do to reduce your exposure to VOC greatly or even completely. So read on if you want to know more about VOC and why you should know about it because it might just be very beneficial to your overall health.

How to Avoid It

VOC content varies from company to company, but you can buy indoor or outdoor paint that has a low VOC content level or you can buy VOC free paint. Now if you buy VOC free paint that doesn’t mean that the fumes are completely harmless to inhale, it just means that it is a lot less harmful to inhale. Inhaling paint fumes is never recommended in any situation and honestly should be avoided as best as possible when you are painting. If you are seriously concerned about the paint fumes, you can always hire a professional house painter and you won’t be around the paint fumes or VOC at all.

 The Dangers

Knowing your VOC is very important to your health and the health of the people around you. VOC is released into the air around you as paint dries. Inhaling the fumes can lead to many negative immediate and long term side effects. Some of these side effects include, eye and respiratory irritation, dizziness, headaches, memory loss and one long term side effect is asthma.

Pregnancy

Pregnant women are very sensitive to VOC and should avoid it at all costs, because too much exposure to VOC for a prolonged time can result in a miscarriage or birth defects. Children should also avoid VOC because their bodies are still growing and inhaling too much paint fumes could result in an asthmatic child. Once someone develops asthma they usually have it for the rest of their lives, so if you have a child that is on the verge of being asthmatic you shouldn’t take the risk at all.

Ways to Minimize Paint Fume Exposure

There are many things that you can do to reduce your exposure to VOC. To reduce your risk of VOC exposure you should ventilate the area you are painting very well. You can achieve this by opening windows and doors and also keep fans going while you paint and also while the paint dries. If you really just don’t want to take the risk at all you can always hire a professional to paint for you. This option is not always needed because if you just ventilate the area well and wear a construction mask you should be okay because you won’t be inhaling very much VOC. You can also get paint that has very low VOC content or none at all.