Side Effects and Dangers of Painting While Pregnant

There are no studies or documented evidence about the risk or side effects of household painting especially during pregnancy. It is assumed that household paints have low risk of exposure to chemicals and solvents, their impact on the developing baby are considered fairly limited.

Danger of Painting While Pregnant

Lead based paints were used prior to 1970s which had an increased risk of lead poisoning among pregnant females.

As per the United States Food and Drug Administration, lead poisoning is associated with increased risk of mental retardation. It is therefore recommended that women should not indulge in removing old paints as it increases the risk of lead poisoning. Furthermore, scraping of old paints tends to result in higher concentration of solvents and chemicals into the air, and hence a female should avoid any sites that are undergoing renovation or remodeling.

Spray Painting While Pregnant Effects

Uses of spray paints during pregnancy are a cause of concern due to the higher concentration of solvents and chemicals in industrial paints. Furthermore, industrial paints are higher in consistency which tends to increase the risk.

Spray paints tend to create a mist, which is potentially dangerous due to the increased possibility of this droplets being inhaled.

Protective clothing and ventilation can help reduce the risk of exposure to the baby.

Oil Painting While Pregnant

Oil painting is often used for recreational purposes; however these activities can put the fetus of a higher risk. Oil paints contain solvents which can be easy inhaled and high levels of exposure tend to increase the risk of a miscarriage or a birth defect in the baby.

Painting While Pregnant

As per the FDA paints which don’t contain lead, don’t pose a risk to the growing fetus. However there are certain precautions that need to be taken while painting during pregnancy

  • Always inform your healthcare provider about the painting project. Discuss and try to understand the risks associated with using the specific paint. Household painting is normally less risky compared to occupational exposure
  • Always wear protective clothing, mask and ensure that the area is well ventilated
  • Avoid paints that contain ethers or biocides
  • Ideally use acrylic, water colors or tempera paints over oil paints as they are relatively less harmful
  • Limit the duration of exposure to paint. Take frequent breaks and move out to a location where you have access to fresh air
  • Cover all foods and drinks and keep them away from the painting area to avoid contamination of food

Though there is not adequate evidence on the risks that a painting project may poise on the mother’s and child’s health, it is recommended to prevent exposure to any form of paints or chemical solvents, during pregnancy.

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