Interior Painting and Your Health
Interior Painting and Your Health: What You Need to Know
Of course you know that lead-based paint is bad for you, which is why it isn’t for sale anymore. But did you realize that the majority of paint sold at your local home improvement store could be harming your health? It’s true, and it’s all thanks to the toxic chemicals it contains, referred to as VOCs. The term stands for Volatile Organic Compound, and they could be affecting your family in more ways than you realize.
What exactly are VOCs?
Have you ever wondered why paint has such a strong odor? You can thank the VOCs. Simply put, they are harmful gases that are emitted from paint during the drying process. In fact, they are the ingredients that actually cause the drying, so they are kind of important—which is also why you won’t find very many paints without them. Most VOCs are considered carcinogens by the EPA (such as methylene chloride and benzene) and are believed to cause cancer and other serious illnesses.
But this is where it really gets scary: VOCs aren’t only dangerous while the interior painting project is being completed. These toxic compounds can be released from the paint into your home’s air for six months, or longer. So your newborn baby who you just put to sleep in her freshly painted nursery; she’s inhaling them. Your son who wanted to do a little interior painting to upgrade his room; he’s inhaling them. It’s scary stuff.
Are VOCs really that bad?
We will let you decide. Of course, the amount of contact can cause varying results, but here is a list of some of the reported health concerns that may result from too much VOC exposure:
- Throat Irritation
- Liver Damage
- Kidney Damage
- Loss of Coordination
- Eye Infection
- Memory Impairment
- Increased Risk of Asthma
Does any of that sound like something you would want yourself or your family to experience? No, it’s not, and it really makes you question if your weekend interior painting project is worth it, doesn’t it?
How can I protect my family?
The good news is that after years of research there are actually attractive, durable paint options available that do not contain VOCs. So you have two choices: You can spend the money to buy VOC-free paint yourself at the store—and then do all of the work yourself—or you can hire an interior painting company that uses zero VOC paints most of the time (like us, C & M Painting in Connecticut, for example) except for when we have to use specialty paints and/or primers. With the second option, you will get the peace of mind that your family is safe while we complete the interior painting job with precision. Seems like an easy decision to us.