Home Off Beat Before painting your home, know the hidden dangers of paints

Before painting your home, know the hidden dangers of paints

by DrPrem Jagyasi

Paintjob is one of the important processes while constructing a new home. People get concerned about the stains and dirt on their walls and most of them will consider a new painting for the walls. We love freshly painted walls and rooms, but how many of you know that most of the paint used inside your home is making you sick. These paints might even be a risk to your life. We will explain how.

Most of the paints contain chemicals that are toxic and volatile organic compounds (VOC) in it. These are mostly found in non water based paints which are regularly used in house hold painting job.  VOC is the most dangerous substance. The fresh smell that comes after painting is because of the VOC; they evaporate into the atmosphere and are easily ingested by humans while breathing.

Health risks of paints


Health concerns of commercial painting are mostly due to the VOC, they are known to cause the following effects on us

  • Irritation to nose, lungs, skin and throat
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Headache

These effects are due to short term exposure to the fumes from paints, but it is proven fatal on long term exposures. VOCs are known to cause a condition called ‘Painter’s Syndrome’ which cause brain damage, kidney malfunction, reproductive system failure and it also causes lung cancer.

How to minimize the risk?


Try to choose a water based paint for painting your house, they contain less toxins and also are low in odor. Using non voc natural or eco paint is also a way to reduce the risk of VOC. Marston and Langinger, G2 Lovo paints, Yolo color house etc are examples of commercial painting material manufacturers that produce non VOC eco paints. The brushes and other equipments can be cleaned with water when you use a natural paint, thus the use of solvents like turpentine or white spirit can be avoided both of them being sources of toxic solvents.

Most manufacturers have released commercial painting safety guidelines, which instruct the painter how to be safe during a painting job. Wearing personal protecting equipments like a respiratory mask and a protective suit will give you protection from these harmful chemicals. Do not paint continuously for a long period; taking frequents breaks while painting will reduce the exposure to harmful chemicals. While painting it’s advised to increase your indoor ventilation by keeping the doors and windows open, also don’t use a room until the walls are entirely dry.

Buy and use only the needed quantity of paints as the open paint cans would emit these toxic VOCs. In case you have to store the paint cans make sure they are closely packed and are not in reach of children and your pets. Never paint your home if someone there is on a pregnancy, because VOCs sometimes cause miscarriages and also hey will cause health problems to the baby. These are some of the ways for safeguarding yourself and others while painting, and always remember prevention is better than cure.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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