How Can Painting Affect Your Health?

By Karl

Painting is a great way to make updates to your home. When homeowners are looking to remodel or change the style of their home, painting can add that finishing touch to a house project. What some people don’t know is that paint can have effects on your health. Continue reading below as we identify how paint can affect your health and what you can do to avoid it.

Paint and Volatile Organic Compounds

All paint contains chemicals known as Volatile Organic Compounds or VOC. If you are exposed to these compounds, the effects on your health are determined by how long the compound has been in your home, and how much of it was inhaled. Short-term exposure can lead to mild headaches, itchy eyes, and nausea. If not monitored, long-term exposure can damage your nervous system, or even can lead to cancer. If you are looking to avoid long-term exposure you can look into improving your home ventilation system. Proper ventilation can help air out your rooms and push harmful compounds out of your home.

Whose Health Can Paint Harm The Most?

Paint fumes can affect everyone, but they can be more harmful to those who are pregnant as well as newborn babies and young children. As a parent, it’s important you are aware of the effects that can result from exposure to paint fumes. Studies show that inhaling chemicals can increase the risk of birth defects for your child. VOC exposure to babies and children has been linked to respiratory issues like asthma, eczema and can even lead to childhood leukemia. However, if you’re pregnant and would still like to participate in painting for your new addition to your family, you can follow this guide, which outlines how to do so safely.

How Can You Limit Exposure?

VOCs can be found in various parts of the house as well as many household products, it can be hard to limit the amount of exposure within your home. When it comes to painting, however, there are several options if you are looking to mitigate exposure.

Hire Professional Help

One way to drastically limit exposure to paint fumes is by hiring professional painters. Hiring a professional not only puts the labor on someone else but provides peace of mind as you’ll have an experienced group who knows all there is to know about paint. Upon request, can even provide paint that has low VOC levels or non-toxic paint. They will also have their own supplies which could be an expensive investment for a homeowner who is considering painting themselves.

Buy Paint Low VOC or Non-Toxic Paint

If you are looking to take matters into your own hands, make sure you look into buying non-toxic paint or paint with low levels of VOC. It can be helpful to read the labeling on the back cans as paint manufacturers are required to list the levels of VOC in their paint. There are a variety of paint manufacturers to choose from so finding non-toxic paint won’t be difficult.

Improve Your Safety Precautions

Investing in protective gear can be helpful as well. Protective gloves and eye-wear can help prevent chemicals from getting into your eyes and skin. When you are painting make sure you have enough ventilation within the rooms. In some cases, it can be helpful to wait to paint when there is no humidity as this will allow you to keep your windows open for better ventilation. There are many solutions to stay safe while painting, pick the best solution that works for you.


Painting is a great way to update your home but you want to make sure you are aware of the safety risks prior to embarking on a project. Regardless of the option you choose, make sure you are taking the necessary precautions to limit exposure. As long as you take the necessary precautions, you’ll be able to paint safely and create the room you want.

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