When thinking about the paint color for the walls of a new space in your apartment or home, rarely do you think about the chemicals that go into the paints and what they can mean for you and your family’s health. It’s easy to get caught in the excitement of a new project, and everyone knows that a fresh coat of paint can really transform a home. The same goes for the varnish for wood floors. Putting on a new coat can make wood flooring pop and give a whole new look and feel to your home.
But just what are the dangers of these chemicals? The chemical you want to worry about are called polyurethane and have fumes that can cause serious consequences. Polyurethane can give a wood floor a beautiful new finish, but there are certain precautions that one should take when using it. Polyurethane fumes side effects are incredibly serious. It does not matter if you are an amateur trying to carry out a DIY project, or a professional that has been doing this for a long time. Everyone needs to be careful.
What are polyurethane fumes side effects?
Fumes from polyurethane wood floor vapors include eye, throat, and nose irritation. If the chemical gets directly on your skin, it can cause a serious skin irritation. Clearly this chemical has both long and short-term consequences if it is not used properly. In the short term, they can cause breathing issues, headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Those with asthma should be particularly careful, as it can cause asthma attacks.
In the long run, repeated exposure can cause chronic lung condition and birth defect. Other issues that can arise after long-term exposure include allergies and cancer. This is not mean you cannot use paint and wood varnishes that have these fumes, it just means you need to have more caution when using them.
Typically, these fumes last for a few days, according to an article written for SFGate. The article states, “VOC off-gassing is most acute during application and the drying of hardwood floor finishes. Even long after these finishes have dried, however, smaller amounts of VOCs continue to off-gas into the home.” However, it continues, “The U.S. Green Building Council reports off-gassing of oil-based finishes can last for months or even years. Some lower-VOC, water-based products largely finish off-gassing within a few days.” It is VERY important to read up on which kinds or paints and finished do not cause severe health issues.
How can I prevent polyurethane fumes side effects?
The best way to ensure you and your family’s safety is to try using an organic option and use VOC-free painting materials, especially when thinking about floor paint and gloss varnish. When picking out paint at the store, ask an employee what kind of paint might work best for you. Always be sure to think about the safety of chemicals when choosing paint and varnishes for your home renovation projects. Knowing about these chemicals can help you make smart choices when choosing materials for your home, such as non toxic paint for crib and nursery projects.
DIY projects can be a lot of fun, but the consequences of using certain materials can really take a toll on you and your family. Are you thinking of doing a project soon and have questions about polyurethane fumes side effects? Ask away in the comments below!
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