How Unsafe Are Paint Fumes?? - Mothering Forums

How Unsafe Are Paint Fumes??

grace's voice's Avatar grace's voice (TS)
06:18 PM Liked: 0
#1 of 11
07-30-2008 | Posts: 1,709
Joined: May 2005
I'm feeling kind of stuck. We're trying to get the house finished before the baby comes, and I'm the only one who can do it. Most of the work is painting, and the paint we have (we bought it before the pg) is pretty smelly. I painted 1 room during my 1st tri and did a ceiling yesterday. I'm normally really careful with these types of things, pg or not, but its got to get done. Its so dang hot and humid I can't even open the windows. Anyone know of the actual dangers of the fumes?

OT: Since I painted in my first tri I now get m/s symptoms all over again since I associate the smell with the nausea I felt when I did the painting. Eww.
chihuahua's Avatar chihuahua
07:23 PM Liked: 0
#2 of 11
07-30-2008 | Posts: 22
Joined: Jan 2007
Unfortunately, I don't have any advice for you. However, I am in the same predicament and am very curious to see other's input on this topic!
Smurphy2's Avatar Smurphy2
07:24 PM Liked: 0
#3 of 11
07-30-2008 | Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2008
Hi Holly--We're in the same boat with trying to finish painting our house before the baby comes. I got a respirator to wear when I'm painting, and that has made me feel a lot better. It is a plastic mask with cartridges on both sides, and it protects from lead paint, paint fumes, any kind of organic vapors. It definitely makes me feel better to be wearing it!'s Avatar
01:08 AM Liked: 17
#4 of 11
07-31-2008 | Posts: 1,377
Joined: Jul 2008
i had the same question and looked this up last week. dr sears says that regular latex paint is no danger to mother or baby. i trust him completely so i felt okay painting the spare room (hopefully will be nursery) last week. good luck to you.
claddaghmom's Avatar claddaghmom
01:13 AM Liked: 17
#5 of 11
07-31-2008 | Posts: 3,823
Joined: May 2008
Secondhand advice....but a friend who is a painter said it's safe and that his wife painted the nursery during her pregnancy.

Apparently it is the oil-based paint that can be harmful.

I had the same question because we are finishing the nursery and I wanted to paint all the furniture. Fortunately my brother volunteered though!
jrabbit's Avatar jrabbit
01:14 AM Liked: 12
#6 of 11
07-31-2008 | Posts: 2,039
Joined: May 2008
Get a respirator. A GOOD one. rated N95 or N99.

There are inherent toxic effects from paint fumes - although, I guess it depends on how sensitive you are. I personally have developed an extreme allergy to paint and can only paint with zero-VOC paint now. I'm painting my entire 2400 sf house while pregnant because we're going to sell in early spring (due in December, I need to be finished mid-november).

good luck
sbrinton's Avatar sbrinton
01:31 AM Liked: 0
#7 of 11
07-31-2008 | Posts: 1,166
Joined: Jul 2008
We painted our kids rooms when I was pregnant, but we did use the zero-voc latex paints. If you have a choice, these are so much better. They hardly smell at all. I get a terrible headache from painting with normal latex paint, but with the zero-voc paint I'm fine. And the rooms smell fresh and non-painty as soon as the paint is dry.
EBeth0000's Avatar EBeth0000
11:07 AM Liked: 0
#8 of 11
07-31-2008 | Posts: 412
Joined: Aug 2007
I bought the Shewin Williams Harmony zero-voc paint off the recommendations of some posters here from a similar thread I posted earlier in the week. I have painted a room yesterday, and had my book club over here last night--they didn't believe me when I said I had been painting that same day because they couldn't smell ANYTHING!

That being said, if you already bought all the paint and just don't want to make the investment, I would agree to use a respirator, or just lots of common sense measures like you are already.
jenniferadurham's Avatar jenniferadurham
03:37 PM Liked: 19
#9 of 11
07-31-2008 | Posts: 3,052
Joined: Apr 2008
I haven't read the other responses....

Lowe's and Home Depot have a paint that is chemical free. I haven't smelled it yet, but I'm assuming that it can't be THAT bad if there are no chemicals. It's a bit pricey $35 a can, but worth it if it won't make you sick.
crosscat's Avatar crosscat
04:14 PM Liked: 0
#10 of 11
07-31-2008 | Posts: 1,395
Joined: Mar 2008
I wore a mask while painting the nursery (well, okay, while standing around watching DH paint the nursery).
sungodis's Avatar sungodis
09:24 PM Liked: 0
#11 of 11
08-11-2008 | Posts: 46
Joined: Jun 2006
I recommend It is zero VOC, very low odor, and practically no toxins at all. We did our house in it and it is great. Pricey, but it has really good coverage and wear as well. HTH
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