If you or someone in your home are prone to a paint allergy, it can be exhausting to manage a simple paint job without an allergy attack. Today’s paint companies have become more conscious and are developing allergy friendly counterparts. Irrespective of the kind of paint you are buying, latex or no-VOC eco-paints or natural alternatives, there is plenty of research and studies that you need to look at especially if you are allergic to paints.
Ideal painting practices
Whether you are a DIY homeowner/painter or a professional painter, it is imperative that before buying a type of paint you have taken into account the condition of the place that is going to be painted. Make sure there is ample lighting and ventilation. This way the gasses from the paint will leave the room and not get trapped, affecting the occupant’s health. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on composition, mixing proportions and type of paints.
If you have a pet, family or especially someone who is allergic to paint fumes, make sure to send the person away even before scraping and beginning the raw work. It may be prudent to wait for a few days before the fumes wither away before you decide to bring your family member or pet back to the paint location. Also remember to cover your belongings and stow away food items before you begin your paint job.
If you have roamed the aisles of the paint section, you will notice many VOC and no-VOC labels on the cans. So what do they actually mean? VOC is Volatile Organic Compounds. They perform various kinds of functions in paints, solvents, cleaning agents and adhesives. However, all of these compounds emit gases at room temperature, which can trigger a host of allergic reactions in vulnerable individuals. These include, asthma, headaches, dizziness or nausea, among other possible reactions. To avoid this allergic reaction, many consumers end up buying low or no VOC paints. It should be noted that once you mix other additives like shades, binders, fungicides etc., the overall VOC content of the final product may still be at an upper limit.
Taking various health concerns in consideration and the flak paint industry has received for their chemical content, many paint companies have shielded away from using too many harmful chemicals in their paint without compromising on the overall quality. If you want to move away from conventional paint completely and are looking to opt for natural colours, natural clay paints and plasters are also a great alternative. Bear in mind that the finish and colours from natural alternatives will be nowhere close to their chemical counterparts. Having said that, natural paints may be a healthier alternative to traditional chemical based colours.
Evaluating paint location
Note that once you choose the best least harmful alternative for a paint job, the next step is to consider evaluating the area you are going to be painting. Make sure that the area you are considering for painting is lead-free. Use a market lead test kit to check for lead presence.