How Harmful are Paint Fumes?

symbol-34338_150If you’ve ever painted or you need to do a little painting around your home, you’ve probably wondered how harmful paint fumes are. Well today you will learn just how harmful paint fumes are and how to reduce that risk. Paint fumes aren’t that harmful but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to help yourself when painting. The chemicals in paint vary from company to company, but mostly the only real danger is the paint fumes that come off the paint after painting. Inside the fumes are VOC which are volatile organic compounds that can cause you immediate harm, including: eye and respiratory irritation, dizziness, headaches, and even problems in your memory. As you can see inhaling paint fumes can be immediately damaging to your body so be sure to take the necessary precautions to ensure your health.

Minimise Exposure

There are many things you can do to decrease these negative effects of VOC. First off, be sure that the area you are painting is nicely ventilated and that the fumes are not just building up in the air you are breathing. While you can wear a paint mask, and definitely should, this won’t stop you from inhaling a little of the fumes, so be sure that there just isn’t much fumes in the air in general. You can do this by keeping the area you are painting very well ventilated by opening windows, having fans going, and also take breaks every so often. This should greatly help reduce the risk of some of the simple effects of breathing in paint fumes.

So just how harmful are paint fumes really?

Well, when some of the fumes were tested on animals, some of the animals developed cancer. Studies have also shown that long term exposure to paint fumes can also cause a more likely chance of developing asthma. If you are pregnant do not paint anything for any reason. Paint fumes are very harmful to the baby if you breathe them in while pregnant; doing this can cause miscarriage and other birth defects. Children should also avoid paint fumes as well as their bodies are still developing and the paint fumes can be very detrimental to their health.

Avoid It If You Can

You can always buy paint that has low VOC content or even VOC free. This will greatly reduce the risk of harmful effects to your body from inhaling paint fumes. This would be your best bet if you don’t want to take the risk of getting sick from inhaling in the fumes. Now just because there are negative effects, don’t let that drive you away from painting. As long as you are safe and ventilate the area well you should be okay.

In conclusion, paint fumes can be very dangerous to inhale, but mostly it’s pregnant women and children that should avoid paint fumes in general. Also, people who are already asthmatic or have problems breathing should also avoid paint fumes. You do have the option to buy VOC free paint, or low VOC content paint, this would be your best bet if you just plain don’t want to take any risk or you are sensitive to paint fumes.