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Is it safe to smell paint while pregnant
Painting While Pregnant - American Pregnancy Association
Is it Safe to Paint While Pregnant?
There are basically three categories of paint which pregnant women could be exposed to latex, oil, and enamel.The degree of toxicity during pregnancy is challenging to predict because there are currently no methods of measuring actual exposure. The likelihood of paint toxicity depends on the chemicals and solvents found in the paint along with the amount of exposure.
Household Paint Use
The most common question related to pregnancy and paint exposure has to do with painting the new baby’s nursery or decorating the house before the baby arrives. Unfortunately, there are no studies that document the effects of household painting on pregnancy and the developing baby. Currently, the assumption is that household painting involves very low levels of exposure. The recommendation is to avoid exposure to oil-based paints, leads, and mercury. You should minimize exposure to latex paints that contain ethylene glycol ethers and biocides. Ideally, you should get someone else to do the job for you. Lead-based paint was commonly used prior to the 1970s, so pregnant women should avoid removing old paint because of the risk of lead exposure. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, exposure to lead paint increases the likelihood of lead poisoning and mental retardation. Scraping and sanding old paint should be completely avoided. This puts higher concentrations of solvents and chemicals into the air to be inhaled. The recommendation is to have someone else do this part of the remodeling and ideally, remove yourself from the location until the project is complete. If you are just too excited and you must paint the nursery, make sure you follow these guidelines to decrease the likelihood of paint exposure:
Protect your skin by wearing protective clothing that includes long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and gloves
Be certain that the room and house are well ventilated; open the windows and turn on fans
Limit the time you spend on the project; take breaks and move into the fresh air frequently
Keep your food and drinks away from the area so solvents and chemicals will not accidentally be consumed
Occupational or Industrial Paint
Occupational and industrial paint circumstances (ie… painting cars) warrant concern because of the consistency and level of exposure to paints and solvents. The largest concern is the use of spray paints due to the high quantity of mist created, which can potentially be inhaled. Protective clothing and effective ventilation can help reduce the level of exposure and the potential risk to the baby.
What about pregnancy and recreational use?
Recreational use of paints involves sniffing or inhaling paint solvents; this is harmful whether you are pregnant or not. Sniffing and inhaling paints provides high levels of exposure and increases the risk of harm to the baby, including miscarriage or a birth defect.
What if I have been exposed to paint already?
Currently, there are no studies that document harm to the baby during normal and incidental exposure to paint (i.e. painting a room). The only studies that note the potential for miscarriage and malformations have to do with the higher levels of exposure through recreational use (sniffing and inhaling regularly). If you have been exposed to paint, rest assured that the likelihood of any problems is low. According to the FDA, today’s paints do not contain lead and are probably not dangerous. Let your health care provider know of any paint exposure and together you can discuss the potential risk.
What are the recommendations and precautions?
Avoiding paints and solvents is the safest course of action
Talk to your health care provider before beginning a painting project
Paint exposures during household painting are likely to have less exposure than occupational settings
Wear protective clothing, masks, and keep the area ventilated
Avoid latex paints that contain solvents such as ethylene glycol ethers and biocides
In general, watercolors, acrylic, and tempera paints are recommended over oil paints
Limit duration and frequency of your painting
Compiled using information from the following sources: WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/ Mayo Clinic Guide To A Healthy Pregnancy Harms, Roger W. , M.D., et al, Introduction. Illinois Teratogen Information Service U.S. Food and Drug Administration, https://www.fda.gov/
Fumes, Risks of Birth Defects, More
You’re pregnant, nesting mode has set in big time, and you have a strong vision for just how you want that new nursery to look.
But you may have some reservations about picking up a paintbrush — and rightfully so. Breathing paint fumes isn’t great for anyone, let alone pregnant women.
While there are differing opinions, it’s generally deemed risky to paint while pregnant and not worth the potential birth defects to the baby. Let’s take a look at why — and some ways you may be able to minimize the risk and still get the nursery you want.
You may wonder if science really backs the idea that you shouldn’t be painting — or if people are just worried about falling off a ladder during the project.
There are obvious ethical issues when it comes to conducting research studies on pregnant people. But we do have some data to draw from.
In a 2017 study, researchers looked at rats that were exposed to too much toluene-based paint inhalation. The study revealed that prenatal exposure led to concerning results regarding spatial memory function in the rats’ offspring. These impairments continued to be an issue into adolescence.
While humans aren’t rats, this study suggests that paint inhalation may be a risk to the brain development of the baby, which can impact their childhood development as well.
A 2019 study concluded that home renovations were “significantly associated with male genital abnormality,” causing concern for women carrying baby boy fetuses. Researchers noted that the time frame in which babies are exposed to home renovations and the level of exposure does matter.
The same study discredits previous ideas about certain other birth abnormalities that were traditionally thought to be caused by paint fume inhalation, such as cleft palate.
We’ve all seen signs and labels warning us about lead in paint. Luckily, lead-based paints have been prohibited for decades, eliminating almost all risk of coming into contact with that as a hazard during pregnancy. However, traces of lead-based paints may be found in the home that you’re remodeling or working on.
Basically, painting a nursery with new paint is much different than stripping old paint from a house you’re flipping.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can still be found in some paints, but you can usually pay a small amount more for an organic or VOC-free option. However, the Environmental Protection Agency warns that even paints marketed as VOC-free may, in fact, emit some VOCs — so proper ventilation is key.
In terms of types of paints:
Oil-based paints often contain harmful chemicals.
Acrylic paints are seen as somewhat safer than oil-based, but they can still possibly contain harmful chemicals.
Water-based paints are typically seen as safer than solvent-based and spray paints (which also have solvents in them).
So while some paints may be safer than others, your safest bet is to leave the house while someone else paints — and wait to return until the fumes are gone.
The first trimester is the most sensitive time, as key organs and body functions are being developed. So it’s best to get some help painting the nursery (or doing other projects) to be safe.
A 2012 study suggests congenital abnormalities in the renal and nervous systems of babies exposed during the first trimester to solvent-based paint.
Activities in the months leading up to conception may matter as well. One 2017 study found that paint odor exposure in the 6 months prior to conception can impact a baby’s birth weight and can increase the risk of macrosomia. However, It’s important to note that this is just a single study.
Continued exposure to paint over time is one of the main risk factors in the studies cited, and increased exposure naturally increases the risk to the baby.
If you’re in a job setting that may require dealing with paint, get more information about the type of paint and ask about getting reassigned to other tasks to be safe, especially during the first trimester.
Painting a nursery or completing other home improvement or art projects hasn’t been proven completely unsafe.
So if you’re painting during pregnancy, consider the following recommendations:
Paint in a well-ventilated space to minimize fume inhalation.
Open windows and doors and take frequent breaks.
Position a fan to help air out the room.
Avoid eating and drinking in the room being painted, as fumes can build up in items you consume.
Another potential risk associated with painting is using a ladder to reach higher surfaces, which can be dangerous for pregnant women who may experience less of an ability to balance than usual.
Consider waiting 2 days after a surface has dried to spend extensive periods of time in a freshly painted room, such as a bedroom or main room.
While you may have your heart set on painting the nursery that perfect hue all by yourself, it’s best to ask for help on this one.
While the research isn’t totally conclusive, some studies indicate risks, especially during the first trimester when the baby is still developing essential organs and systems.
If you’re planning to paint, pay attention to the age and type of paint, as well as the rest of the environment to minimize breathing paint fumes.
Use well-ventilated areas, avoid prolonged exposure, and carefully select your type of paint to minimize interacting with chemicals that haven’t been well-researched for use in pregnancy.
👆 Is it harmful to breathe wall paint during pregnancy, what happens if you breathe for a long time?
The human nose perceives the smell of paint quite tolerably. Those who constantly paint something even develop a habit of it. But a pregnant woman is a separate conversation. And if the expectant mother is planning, for example, to make repairs in the nursery, then she will have to be careful, because this smell can be dangerous. Let's find out if she can breathe paint or not.
How does poisoning happen?
When the paint dries, the molecules of acetone or other substance evaporate, due to which it has a liquid consistency. It is harmful to breathe paint, because it is these fumes that adversely affect the human body. Also, intoxication can be divided into acute and chronic.
It is observed at the moment when a person not only applies paint, but also inhales vapors. Also, such intoxication can occur as a result of its removal. It is not difficult to determine intoxication by these symptoms:
A person begins to get sick and dizzy, there are even hallucinations. Toxic substances enter the body through the respiratory tract and are carried throughout the body through the arteries. Their final path is the brain. As a result of such intoxication, the nervous system suffers.
There is a burn of the eyes and respiratory mucosa. Breathing becomes more difficult, and the headache gets worse.
The person vomits and has diarrhea.
The patient loses consciousness due to oxygen starvation.
If the poisoning is too strong, then it threatens with anaphylactic shock.
Usually this type of poisoning occurs in people whose work is constantly associated with paints and varnishes. In this case, they experience:
weakness of the whole organism, constant feeling of fatigue.
Is it harmful for pregnant women to breathe paint?
It is known that colors are different. Some are practically odorless, while others contain solvents that smell strongly. In addition, it is the volatile types of such solvents that are considered dangerous, which contain toluene, butanol, and carbon tetrachloride. If a pregnant woman breathes paint, what harm does she do to her body? As a result of this, the kidneys, liver, and blood can be seriously affected. In addition, the smell of paint has an adverse effect on the cardiovascular system.
If more caustic fumes are inhaled, especially during pregnancy, this will lead to subsequent poisoning.
Can pregnant women breathe wall paint?
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Usually acrylic or oil paints are used to paint the walls. Of course, acrylic paint does not smell, but this does not mean at all that you can safely and without consequences inhale its vapors. As a result, they quickly enter the bloodstream, and then they spread throughout the body. After that, the head begins to hurt, weakness is felt throughout the body.
Why can't wall paint breathe? The longer a pregnant woman inhales vapors, the more it will affect the blood, since in this case oxygen is displaced from red blood cells. As a result, the tissues cannot breathe, moreover, it has a bad effect on the internal organs. Due to the fact that the blood of the expectant mother does not participate in gas exchange with the unborn child, in this case hypoxia develops. There is an accumulation of carbon dioxide, and there is also a risk of matobolic changes.
What can happen to the fetus in this case? The above symptoms are enough to cause antenatal death in the fetus. In this case, a pregnant woman needs emergency medical care, otherwise her condition will only worsen.
Is it possible to breathe floor paint during pregnancy?
Often the floor is painted with enamels or oil paints. As for oil paint, it has a very pungent odor, besides, its drying time is two days. Such paint does not fade immediately, for this you will have to wait a few more days. This suggests that a pregnant woman must necessarily protect herself from this pungent odor.
How harmful is breathing paint in this case? With intoxication, blood pressure rises noticeably, and in this case, blood coagulates poorly, which can lead to dangerous bleeding, moreover, from the stomach if a woman has an ulcer or gastritis. Also in this case, there is a risk of abortion. Even with this outcome, liver failure develops, and the woman falls into a coma.
Help for poisoning
In the event that poisoning does occur, it is necessary to take a number of actions that can provide first aid.
First, you need to take the person to fresh air. It is also best if the person washes with cool water.
A person needs to drink plenty of water, because the liquid is able to cleanse the body of harmful substances.
After that, the person should lie down to rest.
Of the drugs, the victim is given activated charcoal, several crushed tablets. They can even be mixed with water. Polysorb is also diluted in water, which is intended for cleansing the body.
In the event that the condition of the victim is extremely serious, he is tormented by vomiting, he loses consciousness, it is necessary to call an ambulance. Medium and high severity of poisoning implies inpatient treatment. Doctors give him a detox, which usually includes intravenous fluids. To prevent bleeding in pregnant women, they are prescribed drugs that contribute to good blood clotting. In the later stages, doctors do an ultrasound in order to track the condition of the fetus.
Is it dangerous to breathe paint if pregnancy is planned?
Why is it harmful to breathe paint if a woman plans to have a baby? This is especially true for days when the implantation of the embryo itself takes place, which is in contact with the mother's blood. If at an early stage there is a violation of the formation of the fetus, then this threatens with spontaneous abortion.
Thus, women who are going to carry out any painting work must always wear respirators, or even abandon their venture. Also, for a note, you can read an article on how to easily remove paint from clothes.
why a pregnant woman becomes sensitive to smells and what to do about it?
“I realized that I was pregnant even before the delay. Because everything around suddenly began to SMELL. People on the subway, dogs on the street, myself. I felt the smell of cigarettes for 200 meters, and gasoline - for 500. And everything would be fine, but all these smells made me feel sick.
Many pregnant women notice that not only their perception of completely ordinary and familiar smells has changed, but also their attitude towards them. From favorite perfumes, it begins to stir up, and the sweaty feet of her husband make themselves felt long before the moment they appear in sight.
Why is this happening? Why do pregnant women have such a heightened sense of smell?
Doctors have no consensus on this issue. Here are the most common explanations for this phenomenon.
1. Hormonal changes in the body affect the perception of smells. The hormone progesterone, necessary to maintain pregnancy, is synthesized immediately by three endocrine glands: the ovaries, placenta and adrenal cortex. And its blood level must be high enough for a successful pregnancy. Progesterone, among other things, determines nutritional deficiencies in the mother's body and builds a program to eliminate these deficiencies. And odors are markers of the attractiveness or unattractiveness of certain substances for the body of a pregnant woman. So, with a lack of calcium, a woman wants to eat chalk (and the smell of chalk seems very pleasant to her). In parallel with this, a protection program is launched - so that a woman does not eat what is harmful to her, or is not near a source of danger (does not breathe fumes of toxic substances, for example). Therefore, disgust appears for some smells: it is these substances that the body considers unnecessary and harmful for a woman and her growing baby at this particular moment.
But this does not explain why a future mother is sometimes tempted to sniff gasoline, asphalt, acetone and other harmful and even toxic substances. Therefore, let's move on to the next item:
2. When there are hidden metabolic disorders in a woman's body, the progesterone command changes, and instead of looking for substances that close the deficits, the opposite happens. Since in our time almost all products are made using chemicals, we breathe exhaust fumes, and drink water from bottles, the human body loses its bearings in all this variety of chemicals, and the system of control of what is safe and what is not gets lost.
So is it possible to be guided by the body's signals regarding what a woman wants and what she doesn't? When does the body need to be trusted, and when can it be dangerous?
Of course you can. But with some caution. Because there is another reason for the change in sensitivity to smells during pregnancy.
3. According to some reports, aversion to the smells of certain products or substances arises not only because of the product itself, but also because of how this product subsequently behaves in the body of this particular woman. For example, if she has problems digesting animal protein, then she will get an unpleasant smell of meat, in the presence of a deficiency of iron and protein, which this meat can give her. But the body knows that the intestines from meat will not be able to receive the substances necessary for a woman and her unborn child, therefore, it “turns on disgust” to the smell of this product.
Knowing that he would do more harm than good now.
What to do with all this? To listen to the body or not to listen?
Smell problems are usually indicative of the very nutritional deficiencies that the mechanism triggered by progesterone is designed to look for. A detailed biochemical blood test will show if something is missing. Look at what natural products contain the vitamins and microelements you need, perhaps they are what you are drawn to, it is their smell that is most attractive to you.
If not, if you don’t even want to look at foods rich in missing substances, and the smell starts to make you sick or turn inside out, don’t rush to start stuffing this product into yourself. Look for the right substances in other products, the smell and taste of which you will be pleased with.
Consider all of the above on a specific situation. The woman does not have enough calcium in the body. A sign of this may be an unhealthy craving for sweets. Paradoxically, it is calcium that is spent on the breakdown of sugar (sucrose) in the gastrointestinal tract. Here is the very example when the body "confused" what is useful for it and what is not. Cottage cheese and dairy products are considered the best sources of calcium, but a pregnant woman cannot even look at them, let alone eat them. We are looking for other sources of calcium, among which sesame and poppy seeds are in the first place. Sesame paste with Jerusalem artichoke syrup (a healthy sugar substitute that doesn't require calcium to digest) is a great source of calcium and a great treat.
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We are talking about the smells of gasoline, thinner, paint, household chemicals and the like. The desire to inhale these aromas can also signal some kind of deficiency in the body. An unhealthy craving to inhale gasoline vapors or exhaust fumes is often indicative of anemia. However, iron deficiency may not be observed, so it is important to check other blood parameters, such as ferritin levels, as well as vitamin B12 and folic acid.
How can you make your life easier if smells make you feel bad?
Let's break all smells into several categories. Immediately, we note that the rejection of some smells may indicate a problem, or may not speak of anything. Therefore, do not look for difficulties where there are none. For example, it is often said that aversion to the smell of some people indicates a bad attitude towards them. This is not true. After childbirth, the sense of smell returns to its previous level, and many of the smells that you felt during pregnancy simply cease to be felt.
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So, let's go through the main groups of smells.
Smells of food. As mentioned above, it is worth listening to your food preferences, but with some caution. And in order to minimize the negative emotions that arise when inhaling hateful aromas, try to convey to the household that some certain foods make you vomit, and ask them not to use them temporarily, or at least cook them in your absence.
Perfumes and hygiene products. You can opt out of using perfume. Deodorants, if they are still necessary, choose the most unobtrusive. Ask others to change their perfume if you have to interact with these people often.
Smells in everyday life. Use natural cleaning products. Avoid perfumes. Choose the most neutral smells that do not piss you off. Do not use poisonous cleaners and detergents, inhaling their vapors is dangerous not only for your health, but also for the life of your baby. Regularly carry out wet cleaning, make sure that the refrigerator and washing machine are clean - they often become sources of unpleasant odors.
Smells outside the home. Avoid places you don't like the smell of. If your presence in an unpleasantly smelling place is necessary, try smearing the place under your nose with something that smells strongly, but does not cause you discomfort. For some, this is the smell of fir, for some it is the aroma of citrus fruits, and for some it is their favorite baby cream. Remember that it is not safe to apply undiluted essential oils to the skin!
Smells of surrounding people. Try to use public transport less frequently. This is useful not only in terms of avoiding unpleasant odors. Close contact increases the likelihood of infection, and avoiding illness during pregnancy is especially important.
The smell of a husband. Sometimes, due to the fact that the smell of a loved one has become unpleasant, it begins to seem that the attitude towards this person has changed. This is not necessarily the case. Yes, it happens that during pregnancy all the old grievances against a person begin to surface, but this does not mean that you need to break off relations. Everything can be solved if each of the spouses is ready to start a dialogue. And during pregnancy, due to the intensive work of hormones, the female psyche is not very stable. Therefore, it is advisable to leave any clarification of the relationship for after the birth. This, however, does not exclude the possibility of asking the husband for more thorough hygiene or changing the shaving cream to a less fragrant one.
Smells from older children. This item most often shocks the expectant mother. When the smell of her own child becomes unpleasant, a pregnant woman begins to feel like a disgusting mother and reproach herself in every possible way for this. Not realizing that the changed perception of smell is caused physiologically. In nature, when a female becomes pregnant again, the reflex causes her to "turn away" from her older cubs for the safety of the new generation. At the physical level, this reflex of “protection of offspring” has been preserved in humans. That is why already with the onset of pregnancy, the attitude towards older children may change, expressed, in particular, in a change in the perception of their smell. After childbirth, this may persist and even worsen. Don't blame yourself for this. This is a natural physiological process. After some time, if you do not dwell on this, the attitude towards older children will even out.
Odors from myself. Another common item. The expectant mother begins to perceive her own smell as strong and disgusting, despite the fact that others may not even feel it. If you are completely healthy and all smears are good (that is, the likelihood of developing infections is excluded), then you can limit yourself to more thorough hygiene or take a bath with aromatic oils. You do not need to scrub yourself too often with soap or other means. Normal cleaning procedures are sufficient. Remember that the skin - our largest organ - has a protective layer, washing off which, we deal a blow to the whole body and, in particular, to immunity.
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The change in smell perception during pregnancy occurs in almost all women and lasts quite a long time, up to about 12 weeks.