See What Staying In Freshly Painted Room Does To Your Health

See What Staying In Freshly Painted Room Does To Your Health

Pulmonologists and public health physicians have cautioned Nigerians to avoid staying in freshly painted rooms less than 48 hours after, warning that exposure to some hazardous chemicals hanging in the air can predispose them to respiratory illnesses.

They also noted that volatile organic chemicals found in paints might irritate the lungs, leading to allergies, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

The experts, however, said not everyone will have such symptoms from being exposed to paint fumes and not all paints include organic chemicals but there is a need to apply caution.

According to a health website, Healthline, most paints have some level of volatile organic chemicals also known as VOCs, which are released into the air as gases, solids or liquids.

It noted that VOCs include; toluene, xylene, acetone, formaldehyde, and benzene.

A study published in an open journal found that higher levels of a specific type of VOC called propylene glycol and glycol ethers lead to a greater likelihood of conditions, such as asthma, eczema, and rhinitis.

Speaking exclusively with PUNCH Healthwise, the physicians noted that people with asthma may be more susceptible to the effects of paint chemicals.

Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria, added that prolonged exposure to gaseous compounds from fresh paint can also lead to more serious health issues such as respiratory problems and central nervous system breakdown.

He explained, “Those that are asthmatic may rapidly get attacks from perceiving the smell emanating from paints. Fresh paint can pose several hazards to humans due to the release of volatile organic compounds and other chemicals into the air. These chemicals can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, as well as cause headaches and dizziness.

“It’s important to ensure proper ventilation when painting indoors and to follow safety guidelines provided by paint manufacturers to minimize these risks.

“Newly painted houses have volatile organic compounds and chemicals in the form of gases in them. Such gases are hazardous to the health.”

When asked about common symptoms to look out for in someone affected by chemicals from paints, the physician said, “Respiratory symptoms like irritation of the nose, catarrh, sneezing, cough, and difficulty in breathing will be evident. There can also be eye and throat irritation.

“Enough time should be given after painting an apartment before staying or sleeping inside. Preventive measures like the use of face masks can be adopted. People with allergies should avoid such an environment until the vapour has cleared.

“It is important to ensure proper ventilation of the building. Gloss paints pose a higher risk than emulsion paints. Gloss paint produces more of the volatile organic compounds and other chemicals.

“There is a potential risk of cancer from exposure to these chemicals. This, however, requires more evidence from research.”

Also, speaking, a pulmonologist with the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Dr Olusola Adeyelu said not everyone has an allergic reaction to paint fumes, adding that individuals should be aware of what triggers reactions in their bodies.

He explained that if appropriate care is not given, chemicals oozing from a newly painted house may lead to death or complications in some people.

The respiratory specialist stressed that reactions triggered by paint fumes are peculiar and not universal, stressing that for people with asthma, exposure to paint fumes might worsen their symptoms.

Adeyelu stated, “Some people are allergic to chemicals in paint. Even if the flat next to theirs is being painted, they will have health crises.

“It is patients that can identify what their triggers are. So, it is peculiar, not universal. Peculiar in the sense that people might just realise for the first time that they react to paint.

“There are two types of people; either they are just realizing that the paint is dangerous, or know and still decided to be in that kind of environment.”

The pulmonologist said fresh paint can irritate the lungs, causing coughing, wheezing, and other respiratory symptoms.

He added that exposure to environmental irritants such as strong paint fumes can certainly trigger conditions such as asthma.

“When you enter an environment, and you start sneezing; your throat and ears start to itch, or you start coughing, which may not happen at the same time, but once one of these happens, know that you are reacting to something in that environment. If you are not aware before then, that is an indication for you to be aware.

“Also, when you start to rub your upper and lower eyelids and tears roll down excessively from your eyes and you develop chest tightness, there is a need to stay away. The law of reacting to the environment is avoidance

“Some people will just develop red patches on their skin red, which is known as exanthem (a medical term that describes a widespread rash). In some, their bodies will start itching, while some will develop abnormal headaches because the thing allows carbon dioxide to overtake the oxygen supply to their brain. Some will develop diarrhoea. The solution is to leave the environment for a safer place.

“If they don’t leave, it gets choky because of what we call a secondary reaction. They first have a primary reaction, which is the symptoms highlighted. But this secondary reaction has gone past the stage of a trigger. This is the stage one needs to act decisively.”

A study conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of Health suggested that spending time in a room that has recently been painted may increase the risk of respiratory illnesses, explaining that paint fumes can irritate the lungs and cause coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

The study discovered that VOCs released by fresh paint can irritate the lungs, triggering respiratory distress.

The study also found that people with asthma may particularly be susceptible to the effects of VOCs.

The researchers concluded that short-term exposure to VOCs from paint may also increase the risk of lung inflammation.

Recommended For You

About the Author: Gists9ja

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *