Paint warning: Exposure to oil-based products can cause kidney, liver and blood problems

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Painting is a fun and relaxing hobby that many people take up, especially during lockdown. Unfortunately, they often have to worry about whether the materials they are using are safe because oil-based paints have been found to cause a number of health problems.

Oil-based paints contain high levels of volatile organic compounds or VOCs.

These chemical compounds evaporate as the paint dries, but they can cause some unpleasant symptoms during the painting process.

Symptoms of VOC exposure can include headache, dizziness or lightheadedness, nausea, and difficulty breathing.

Cleveland Clinic warns: Oil-based paints contain organic solvents that can be irritating to the eyes and skin and can cause cracking.

The health page adds: “Inhaling paint fumes can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness and fatigue.

“Most of these symptoms will go away when you are out in the fresh air.

“However, chronic exposure to these chemicals in conditions of poor air circulation can cause kidney, liver and blood problems.”

To reduce the risk of painting, leave windows and doors fully open.

  • Place box fans in windows to direct air and smoke outdoors.
  • Turn on the fan while painting and for 48 hours afterward.
  • Keep young children away from rooms with paint and away from open paint cans.

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