Painting is a fun and relaxing hobby many have undertaken particularly during lockdown. Unfortunately, they often have to worry about whether the materials they are using are safe as oil-based paint has been found to cause a number of health problems.
Oil-based paints do contain high levels of volatile organic compounds or VOCs.
These chemical compounds do evaporate as the paint dries, but they can cause some uncomfortable symptoms during the process of painting.
Symptoms of exposure to VOCs can include headache, dizziness or light-headedness, xenical recall diarrhea nausea, and difficulty breathing.
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Oil-based paint contains organic solvents that can be irritating to eyes and skin and can cause cracking of skin, warns the Cleveland Clinic.
The health site adds: “Inhaling paint fumes can result in headaches, nausea, dizziness and fatigue.
“Most of these symptoms go away once you go out into fresh air.
“However, frequent exposure to these chemicals in the presence of poor air circulation can cause kidney, liver and blood problems.”
In a study published in the National Library of Medicine, renal failure and occupational exposure to organic solvents was further analysed.
The research involved a case study of a 47-year-old man who was referred by his occupational physician to our occupational medicine unit for advice concerning occupational management following the discovery of advanced chronic renal failure.
He had no particular personal or family medical history, with no history of infection or any particular treatment.
“In view of the patient’s occupation, an occupational cause was therefore considered,” noted the study.
It added: “The patient had worked as a painting assistant in several companies since the age of 18.
“A review of the literature confirms that some of these solvents have been incriminated in the development of renal failure with varying levels of evidence.”
To reduce risk when painting, keep windows and doors fully open.
- Place a box fan in a window to direct air and fumes outdoors.
- Keep the fan on while painting and for 48 hours thereafter.
- Keep small children away from the room being painted and away from open paint cans.
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