Taking note of health hazards while painting your house

Very often details regarding health hazards vis-a-vis the chemical compoosition of paints aren’t given due importance. Representative image: Photo credit:Wirestock /istock.com

Moving into a new home is always an exciting thought. The smell of fresh paint can be invigorating. Though it comes only during the final stages of house building, you can’t mess with the painting job. That can undo everything you have done so far in building your dream home. So Before you plan the painting in your new home, you should have a definite idea regarding the kind of paints you want to use. But very often such details aren’t given the importance where it is due. Along with the selection of colours, one needs to check for quality brands as well as the ingredients that go into that coat of paint.

How many of you know that certain paint brands can be toxic to your health? The main components of paint are the pigment that gives colour, the binder that helps the pigment adhere to the wall or other surface, the solvents that dissolve these materials and turn them into liquid form, and the additives that resist fungi and the like. Please don’t be under the impression that all these are completely harmless to the body.

Primer used before painting, and varnishing used to enhance the appearance of furniture, windows, etc. can cause health problems. But we let go of the toxic element in the paint under the misapprehension that these physical discomforts are due to many other causes. Paints are a combination of many chemical ingredients. Having said that not all types of paints available in the market are harmful to the body.

Paints and related compounds contain heavy metals like Lead, Nickel, Zinc, Cadmium, Acetone, Xylene, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Benzene, Methyl Ethyl Ketone, and Magnesium Silicate that contain volatile organic compounds. It is often these components that cause physical discomfort. The amount of volatile organic compounds should be very low in paints. So, while buying paint, make sure you enquire regarding the measurements and ingredients. If the volume of such compounds is less than fifty grams then you have nothing to fear. It can be said to be completely safe if the amount is less than five grams. Top-brand paints will have these listed.

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