Breathing paint fumes: what’s at risk and how to remove paint fumes from the air


Paint is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to quickly renovate a room or home. But what is the health risk of inhaling paint fumes and how can you eliminate them?


The risk depends on the paint that was used. Oil paint or any paint that contains volatile organic chemicals has elements that evaporate easily into the air. Some examples are solvents, thinners that maintain a uniform consistency, and drying agents that help paint dry faster. Often times these are the ingredients that release gases and can make paint fumes so harmful.


You may first notice a headache, watery or burning eyes or nose, dry throat, lightheadedness, dizziness, or nausea. This is your body’s way of saying: get me out of here and away from these paint fumes! These symptoms will usually go away if you are only exposed to the fumes for a very short time. But often, the paint will give off gas fumes for weeks, forcing you and everyone in the newly painted space to keep inhaling these fumes for a long period of time.


Young children are particularly vulnerable to these fumes because their breathing is comparatively rapid and their bodies are smaller, which means that their bodies are subject to far more paint fumes than a healthy adult. Pregnant mothers are also at risk of harming the developing fetus, and continued exposure can interfere with normal growth and development. Older adults are also at increased risk many times due to pre-existing conditions such as heart problems, respiratory conditions such as asthma or bronchitis, and / or an immune system that is somehow compromised.


There are paints available now that contain low or even zero organic chemicals. They are more expensive, but are certainly worth the extra money for the health benefits they provide. But if you have moved into a newly built apartment or house, you may not have control over the paint that was used, and unless you act, you and your family may be forced to live in this unhealthy environment.


A high-efficiency particulate arrest air purifier (abbreviated as HEPA) that has a filter that specifically targets and removes these fumes can clean the air and make the air quality in your home healthy again. How do you do this? It is designed to run 24 hours a day to continually remove these paint fumes from the air as soon as they release gas.


By opting for a HEPA air purifier, you also get the added benefit of a cleaner that can remove other household particles that may have resulted from a new construction or a home makeover. This filter, by definition, is designed to remove normal household contaminants such as house dust, dust mites, mold and mildew spores, pollen, pet dander, bacteria and viruses – all so small about 0.3 microns.


The best of these air purifiers contain 4 filters built into an easy-to-change canister, each serving a different purpose, making it a powerful, compact, and highly efficient solution for removing paint fumes from the air.

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