Unhealthy Paint VOCs in Baby's Nursery

Written by Tela Kayne

– By Tela

I’m finally getting around to painting the nursery for my almost 2-month-old and woke up this morning thinking about paint choices. I didn’t want to paint the room while I was pregnant due to unhealthy fumes, which got me thinking; why would I want those same fumes around a newborn or my family for that matter? I’ve been hearing a lot about the chemicals found in building materials and the switch many builders are making to earth-friendly products. The more eco-conscious builders are moving towards using paints that have low to no VOCs.

VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds and are the additives in paints and many other household products that cause unhealthy fumes which have been linked to eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches, loss of coordination, nausea; damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system and possibly even cancer. Additionaly the level of VOCs in homes is 2-5 times higher that outside, so our exposure to these chemicals is daily and somewhat concentrated. The EPA provides more information on the levels and impact of VOCs on indoor air quality on their website and is a great resource for other information on air quality in the home.

In order to reduce the level of VOCs in our home, I’m looking into using a paint that has no VOCs. Many of the mainstream paint companies are starting to carry “green” product lines of low VOC paints, such as Sherwin Williams and Behr, but it seems the color choices are limited. I recently came across a company, Mythic Paint, that only produces low-odor paint that has no VOCs, and they can produce any color, including those of other manufacturers, using a toxin-free color matching process.

I have not yet used their product but am planning to use it soon for the nursery. If it goes well, I may repaint the entire interior of the house. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

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