Beware of the New Paint Smell


Did you know that the new paint smell we attribute to freshly painted rooms is actually dangerous toxins escaping from the paint film back into the air we breath.Paints used in the home contain ­potentially harmful chemicals such as ­solvents and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). ‘When the paint dries, these chemicals evaporate into the air where the hapless decorator can inhale their toxic fumes.Paint falls into two categories: water-based, often referred to as acrylic emulsions and usually used on walls; and solvent, or oil-based paints which tend to be used for a glossy finish (solvents are added to paint to thin the ­mixture so it will spread evenly).
Inhaling paint fumes can exacerbate asthma and ­sinusitis, says Dr Keith Prowse, of the British Lung Foundation.Because the solvents are absorbed into the lungs, then the blood stream, they can lead to headaches and dizziness. ‘If you paint for too long in a room with no ­ventilation, it can even cause a blackout,’ says Dr Prowse.When VOCs are inhaled, they can cause eye, nose and throat ­irritation. In large quantities, ­animal ­studies have linked these chemicals to birth defects, cancers and damage to the central ­nervous system.

Professional painters are most at risk: they have a 20 per cent increased risk of a range of ­cancers, particularly lung cancer, according to the World Health Organisation.
Meanwhile, in Denmark, ­specialists have identified a ­neurological condition brought on by long-term exposure to paint solvents — ‘painter’s dementia’.And men regularly exposed to the chemicals in paint may be more prone to fertility problems, suggests a study from Sheffield and Manchester University.The World Health Organisation has also raised concerns about the long-term health effects of ‘off ­gassing’, the release of vapours over the life of the paint.

At Enviro Coatings Australia we have a range of 100% Zero VOC Paints that will not offgas any dangerous chemicals,our paints have little to no odour and there is no downtime,no offices that need to be vacated due to painting works,no homes that need to be left whilst painting is being done.

Your health matters,so please ensure you choose paints that will do you and your family no harm.Please contact me if you require further information.

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  • Ross Hopkins