Painting Precaution Tips
Painting, whether it’s a part of your job or just a temporary project, requires precaution. Paints contain certain chemicals that can cause adverse reactions. Like any chemical, the likelihood of experiencing a reaction, the extent, and type of effect on your health all depends on a number of factors. The amount of chemical in the air, length of time the individual is exposed to the chemicals, a person’s age and existing medical conditions are some of the factors.
Common short-term exposure symptoms:
- Eye, throat or lung irritation
- Vision problems
Common long-term exposure effects:
- Nervous system damage
- Kidney damage
- Liver damage
When selecting paints, it’s important to choose the type that is appropriate for your project. Never use exterior paints to paint indoors. It’s also important to read the labels every time because hazards might not be the same for every product and can change.
Safety tips that may help prevent negative experiences and health issues:
- Always read the labels, even if you’ve used the product before. Instructions and hazards may change.
- Practice safe cleaning of brushes and equipment by following the instructions on the paint can or elsewhere. Latex paint can generally be cleaned up with soap and water. Alkyd paints need special products as stated on the label. Never use gasoline to clean paintbrushes, as it is flammable.
- Make sure to allow proper ventilation in the area that you are painting in. Open all windows (not to hallways) and all doors. If your windows have blinds or curtains push them back so they are not blocking the airflow.
- Keep providing ventilation and fresh air to the room that was painted. The rule of thumb is to do it for 2-3 days after painting. This will allow you to avoid exposure to paint vapors and return the air to proper quality.
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