Thursday, 25 April 2013

Paint and Paint Fumes During Pregnancy

Very little research has been carried out into the effects of paint fumes on unborn babies. However, the few studies carried out show that the risk is extremely low. Any small risk there is to your baby is greatest during your first trimester (weeks 0-13). This is because your baby's organs start to develop during the first trimester. Any harmful fumes or chemicals at this stage could affect your baby more severely. Water based paints or latex paints are best, they pose no increased reproductive risk because they have low volatility. However, solvent-based paints and old paintwork (which may contain traces of lead) may pose a greater risk. Solvent-based paints can contain varying levels of substances that can be harmful, such as white spirit, xylene, toluene and alkanes. Long-term exposure to solvents can seriously affect a developing baby.For this reason, you should avoid using solvent-based paints and stripping old paintwork while you're pregnant. If you are stripping paint that contains lead, you could inhale it in the clouds of dust which come from stripping the paint. This could potentially harm the development of your baby. 

Reducing the Risk
If you want to completely eliminate the risk of paint fumes affecting your baby, then you should avoid doing any painting or decorating. However, if you do choose to do some painting or decorating, there are some steps you can take, to help prevent paint or chemical fumes affecting your baby. For example:
  • Use paints and decorating materials which are labeled as being suitable for nurseries or children's rooms, as these materials should contain fewer chemicals.
  • Use water-based paints instead of solvent-based ones.
  • Avoid using spray paints and other decorating materials containing solvents.
  • If you're unsure what chemicals or substances are contained in your paint or decorating material, contact the manufacturer, who should be able to advise you.
  • Make sure any room you paint in is well ventilated, by opening any windows or doors.
  • Use gloves, long trousers and long sleeved tops to help protect your skin.
For more risk reducing tips and information please follow link for full article 

For safer paint removal options EcoSolve Americas recommends Home Strip Paint and Varnish Remover. Home Strip is EcoLogo Green Certified as a safe alternative to chemical stripping. If you need to remove old paint coatings never dry scrape, heat up, or strip with chemical strippers. Dust, heat, and chemical reactions can release lead into the air that can easily be breathed in and cause severe harm to you and your baby. Home Strip Paint and Varnish Remover is a water based gel stripper that encapsulates the material and keeps it wet for safe removal with no dust or chemical reactions. For safe and easy removal of all types of paint including lead based paints please visit

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