Painting the babies room
Posted in Kid Stuff » For Mom & Dad on Monday, November 9, 2009

Type of Paint to Use for Babies' Rooms
 
By Trish Popovitch  eHow Contributing Writer

Painting a nursery should be a thing of pleasure and fun, so it is important to also make it safe. A lot of traditional paints give off toxic fumes that can be dangerous to the infant's health and discourage good sleeping habits. Choosing the right paint for a baby's room is a matter of research, understanding and careful purchasing.

        Avoid Paint with VOCs

  1. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are ingredients contained in many household products, including paint, that give off harmful gases even after they have dried. Stripping paint, during painting and while paint is drying are the times of highest exposure to VOCs. They can contaminate nearby materials and thereby increase the amount of time they are in the air. After drying, VOCs return to a lower level but remain in the home.

    They produce a number of symptoms in people, from itchy eyes and a runny nose to liver damage and nervous system damage. Several types of VOCs are considered carcinogens and can lead to cancer. Determining the amount of exposure that leads to serious illness is difficult, and factors such as age, health and existing indoor air quality must be taken into consideration. Avoiding as much VOC exposure as possible can decrease risk.

    Paint Types

  2. Most paints come in oil-based, enamel and water-based. The safest type of paint for babies' rooms is water-based, which is durable and easy to clean up. Acrylic and tempura paints are also acceptable, although exposure time should be broken up to reduce exposure to any odors and chemicals contained in the paint. Avoid using oil-based paints in a baby's room. They contain high VOCs and other harmful toxins that can affect a pregnant woman and her unborn child. VOC-free water-based paint is the best option.

    When choosing a paint, avoid any type that has "ethylene glycol ethers" or
    "biocides" in the ingredients. These are toxic solvents that can affect the health of both a pregnant woman and her baby. Avoid all paints containing latex if there is a chance of a latex allergy.

    What to Choose

  3. Painting a nursery can help set the tone for a healthy, happy childhood. A number of paint manufacturers have decided to not only eliminate VOCs from their paint but have consciously worked to better their products for the safety of both your baby and the planet. These paints certified nontoxic by the manufacturer, following government guidelines, and are usually acrylic. Acrylic is a chemical-based paint specially formulated for elasticity, low toxins and low VOCs. They are an alternative to nontoxic no-VOC water-based latex paints. Check the labels carefully looking for words such as "natural" "VOC-free" or "latex-free."

    Painting When Pregnant

  4. It used to be said that a woman should never paint when pregnant, but with the arrival of VOC-free paints, the idea is not out of the question. High ladders should still be avoided, and women must be careful not to overexert themselves when painting. Be sure the room is well ventilated, and take plenty of breaks. Wear a mask with all kinds of paint. Despite paints being free of toxins, the smell may set off the sensitive system of a pregnant woman, causing nausea. Always consult paint experts before purchasing any paint to be used either in the baby's room or around pregnant women. If a pregnant woman can avoid painting, despite paint choices, she should do so.
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