How Do Paint Fumes Affect Your Baby During Pregnancy?

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013. Filed under: Baby Care Baby Health

CC's new room...Pregnancy is a time of preparation and anticipation. As you get ready to welcome your little bundle of joy into the world, you may feel like your to-do list is a mile long! Registering for your baby shower, buying diapers, and even decorating the nursery, where to begin?

Before you embark on the major task of decorating and repainting your nursery, it’s important to consider safety first of all. One common question that many pregnant women ask is whether or not it’s safe to be exposed to paint fumes when repainting a room in the house, like a nursery.

Is It Safe to Paint While Pregnant?

Most experts agree that a small amount of exposure to paint fumes from latex or water-based paints poses very little risk during pregnancy. The greater risk comes from old paintwork that could contain lead, as well as solvent-based paints.

The best precaution you can take during pregnancy is to avoid painting with solvent-based paints and steer clear of stripping old paint when preparing the nursery.

To break it down for you even further, here are general guidelines of which types of paint are and are not safe for pregnant women:

• Acrylic Paint: Acrylic, or latex, paint is the most common paint on the market. This paint doesn’t contain any solvents and is easy to clean up using only soap and water.

For this reason, acrylic or latex paint is considered to be safe to use around pregnant women in a well-ventilated area. However, if you feel that you are very sensitive to strong scents, including paint fumes, it may be better to hire professional Birmingham painters instead.

• Oil-Based Paint: Oil-based paint is formulated with solvents; turpentine is necessary to clean up paint residue. According to some studies, exposure to solvents during pregnancy could increase the risk of miscarriage. Continuous exposure to heavy solvents has also been linked to learning disabilities and birth defects.

For this reason, it’s best not to use oil-based paint to paint a nursery while pregnant. It’s also recommended to limit exposure to fumes. If you decide to use oil-based paint in a nursery, make sure to leave the house until the painting is finished. You’re safe to return as long as the nursery as well-ventilated to release any residual fumes.
Paint Safety Guidelines for Pregnant Women

In the instance that you are exposed to more harmful paint types, like oil-based paint, regularly for your occupation, keep these helpful safety tips in mind:

• Always work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling paint fumes directly.
• Wear a ventilator or mask to screen fumes and harmful particles.
• Wear gloves and protective clothing to cover your skin when painting.
• Don’t eat or drink in a work area to avoid accidentally ingesting chemicals.
• Limit exposure to paint, especially when you feel sick or lightheaded from the fumes.

If you’ve already been exposed to fumes from oil-based paint while pregnant, the odds are that your baby is perfectly healthy. You can take the necessary precautions from this point forward.

Collin Meed is a freelance writer out of Alabama that enjoys writing on DIY projects and home repair. Meed is currently writing for Prestige Painting, the residential Birmingham painters specialist out of Birmingham, AL.

Author: Collin Meed