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.
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.
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.