It is said that household painting comes in the list of things to avoid during pregnancy. Is this true? The following article discusses the safety aspect of household paints in pregnant women.
It is observed that people often feel uncomfortable whenever they enter a room that is being painted. Why? The reason is simple; While coating the surface with the desired material, paint fumes are generated that leave an awful odor in the room. As painting material contains harsh chemicals, prolonged exposure to these paint fumes can be harmful. For instance inhaling paint fumes can cause headache and dizziness as well as irritate the respiratory system and cause coughing. Considering this fact, women during pregnancy are doubtful whether it would be appropriate to pursue any household painting activity. It is discussed below:
Paint Fumes while Pregnant
Household paints are made up of a wide range of chemicals and metals like zinc. So, breathing those fumes indirectly exposes one to toxic substances. No wonder, pregnant women are advised to stay away from rooms that are being renovated through painting. This is because, whatever the pregnant woman breathes, will also be inhaled by the unborn baby. So, can the baby’s health be affected when it is exposed to these chemicals? That is explained below:
Spray Paint Fumes and Pregnancy
Basically, there are two types of paints: those containing solvents (added chemicals) while others are classified as water-based paints. Numerous studies have already proved health hazards associated with breathing fumes of solvent-based paints. The question is “Can these health risk pass on to the developing baby?” It is discussed below:
Small research regarding this matter has exposed the fact that inhaling fumes of oil-based paints that contain a high amount of solvents can pose a threat to the unborn baby. To be more precise, if a pregnant woman inhales fumes of oil-based paints, the unborn baby may suffer from birth defects. In severe cases, involving exposure to paint fumes for considerable amount of time, can also cause miscarriage. Unborn babies are also predisposed to learning disabilities in case women inhale these chemicals during pregnancy.
It is observed that women who are in the business of spraying and painting cars inhale paint fumes on a daily basis. Clinical studies have shown that these women may give birth to babies with abnormalities like presence of hole in the abdominal wall. Even though water-based paints show the absence of solvents (water is the only solvent used in this paint), a wide range of chemicals are used in making the paint powder. Awful smell has also been associated when using water-based paints. In such circumstances, pregnant woman might not be able to withstand the odor and may fall sick.
To be on the safer side during pregnancy, activities like painting should take a backseat. Be it oil-based or water-based paint, pregnant women need to refrain from entering a room that is painted recently. To get rid of the smell of newly painted rooms, open the window and switch ‘On’ the fan. It doesn’t take much time for that bad smell to vanish from a well-ventilated room. If there is any painting work to be done, hire a professional painter and allow him to do the task at his own pace. In case, you enter a newly painted room, make sure to wear appropriate mask, as this helps in reducing exposure to the paint fumes.
Although there are no large-scale studies to ascertain the side effects of paint fumes on the developing baby, small studies suggest that paint fumes and pregnancy do not go well together. So, during pregnancy, it would be wise to stay away from all activities that involve applying or removing paint.