Removing Paint Fumes - 3 Ways to Minimize Your Risk From Paint Fumes

Published: 14th May 2010
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Paint fumes are one of the biggest culprits of polluted indoor air. In fact the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists paint as one of the top five environmental hazards.

Symptoms of a sensitivity to these fumes include headaches, dizziness, dry throat, burning and watery eyes. Those with extreme sensitivity often experience nausea and vomiting. These airborne chemicals are particularly hazardous to pregnant women. But because painting is one of the easiest, cheapest, and most effective ways to make-over a room, few of us will avoid coming in contact with paint.

Here are 3 practical ways to avoid prolonged exposure and the acute and long-term health effects paint fumes can cause.

Ventilate Properly--Opening windows and doors to move air through the space will prevent fumes from building up to a toxic level. Be careful that ventilating does not create too much of a draft and cause unwanted particles to stick to and dry on the painted surface.

Place a box fan in the window that pulls air out of the room. Leave this on throughout the painting and overnight to fully exhaust any lingering fumes. Close off the heating and air conditioning ducts when you do this so that you are not heating or cooling the room that is being painted.

Use Paints with Fewer Petrochemicals--Petrochemicals, as the name suggests, are made from petroleum and natural gas. Paints with high levels of petrochemicals contain volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) which with high and prolonged exposure can cause cancer in humans.

Oil-based paints contain approximately 93% parts per gallon of petrochemicals while water-based latex paints contain only 15%. Explore the newer types of paint available to consumers now. They contain drastically fewer petrochemicals and are labeled as low-VOC paint.

Painting with a lower level of toxicity will greatly reduce your exposure to hazard. These paints not only make your paint project look good, but greatly reduce the smell and problematic symptoms associated regular paint.

Remove Paint Fumes with a Carbon-Based Air Purifier--Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) contained in paint such as benzene, formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene are such a potent pollutant to your indoor air quality. These chemicals evaporate into the air quickly and come at you from large expanses such as walls and ceilings. But even after the paint has dried it often continues to emit hazardous chemicals into your air.

Using an air purifier that contains a carbon-based filter that has an additive that is specifically designed to trap volatile organic chemicals is one of the best steps you can take towards protecting you and your family against the ongoing hazards of paint fumes.


Protect your family from harmful paint fumes with the air purifier at

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