No matter if you are an amateur painter looking to freshen up your living room or an experienced professional. Without proper precautions in place, painting could pose serious health hazards that should not be ignored.
Interior paint, stain and stripper fumes can be toxic when inhaled in large doses and can lead to dizziness and headaches as well as being highly flammable, making ventilation crucial in keeping areas well ventilated by opening windows or using fans.
Avoid Contact With Electrical Wires
Before embarking on any painting project, make sure you carefully survey the space. Locate any electrical wires running along walls or across ceilings that could come in contact with paint thinners, stains, or any other chemicals used during painting process and keep them away from any paint, thinners, stains or chemicals used.
Many painting products contain volatile organic compounds which vaporize at room temperature and emit harmful fumes when inhaled, possibly leading to headaches, dizziness or nausea in people exposed. If any symptoms develop immediately seek medical advice.
Wear Safety Goggles
Chemicals found in paint and the dust particles generated during surface preparation can do serious harm to your eyes, necessitating safety glasses for protection. Wear them all the time when handling these tasks — including clean up! – to stay safe.
Relying on clothing to wipe the lens of your safety glasses could scratch it and reduce their efficiency, potentially impairing your vision and making it hard for you to see clearly. Therefore, it is recommended that you keep them free from scratches. Alternatively, prescription-lens safety goggles provide maximum protection and clarity.
Wear Protective Clothing
Some paints and primers contain chemicals like acetone, an irritant solvent which can irritate the nose, eyes, throat, lungs and skin when inhaled in large enough quantities. Other common paint additives like phthalates (plasticizers) or crystalline silica also create dust particles which are inhaled into the system and potentially harmful to our environment.
If you are painting indoors, it is essential that windows and doors remain open as much as possible for air circulation in order to allow VOC chemicals to escape, thus decreasing exposure as well as speeding the drying process. Doing so will not only lower levels of VOCs but will also expedite drying time.
Wear Respiratory Protection
Paint contains dangerous fumes that can contribute to respiratory problems if inhaled for extended periods, so it’s essential that when painting you wear a respirator mask that fits securely around both your nose and mouth.
Keep a fire extinguisher handy in case of fire caused by solvents such as paint thinner. Be sure to dispose of any rags exposed to paint thinner, as these present an immediate fire risk.
Keep Children and Pets Out of the Work Area
Painting fumes can be harmful to pets. For their own safety, it is wise to keep them away from any active projects while painting is underway and make sure their food, water, toys and litter box are out of harm’s way.
Avoiding children and animals entering the work area helps protect painters from any unnecessary distractions that could cause accidents, such as children entering areas where painters are painting.
Paint products and rags may be flammable, so to reduce fire hazards painters should store their materials safely in an enclosed space and open windows and use fans for ventilation.
Store Painting Supplies in a Safe Place
Organization of your paint supplies can save both time and effort when searching for materials for projects, while also keeping them in top condition. Be sure to label containers so you can easily locate what you need when the time comes for a new venture.
Store painting thinner, solvents and paint strippers safely away from flammable materials in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling harmful fumes that may irritate eyes, noses and throats.
Ideal storage environments should be dry with low humidity levels and away from direct sunlight, which can cause paints to degrade or develop mildew. A dehumidifier or silica gel packets could help absorb any excess moisture in the air.