How Can VOC Harm Me and My Children?

The elimination of VOC’s by paint manufactures does not address the issue of why contaminants not considered VOC’s still find their way into paint. For example; some paints contain ammonia and acetone which are highly dangerous chemicals to human health yet they are not required by law to appear on the label.

Since each individual’s immune system is different, it is hard to determine how much exposure to paint fumes it takes to have damaging effects. In most cases, it takes years of exposure to affect the brain. But in some rare instances, only one exposure to paint fumes has left impairment – all of which is dependent, of course, on the level of exposure, health of the individual, and the solvents to which the individual was exposed.

Solvent emissions in a gallon of paint are about 90% less than what they were 25 years ago. However, most paints still contain harmful fumes if inhaled or absorbed. In fact, most of us are unaware of the effects that one coat of paint may have. Low levels of vapors from either formaldehyde, benzene, butane, propane, and fluorinated hydrocarbons found in can or spray paints are released on a daily basis for the first 30 days after application. But even year’s later small amounts of toxic fumes can continue to leak into the air. Over a period of time, exposure to these fumes can be harmful to the brain.

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