Modern paints are far less toxic than their earlier counterparts. Old painted walls contained lead, and many paints emitted harmful chemicals for several days after being applied. Modern paints are not immune to all of these problems, though the level of toxic components has been significantly reduced.
Modern paints are usually low in VOC (Volatile Organic chemicals), so any issue are minimal. VOCs are the cause of the ‘new room’ or ‘fresh paint’ smell. The most prominent of these is usually formaldehyde, though there are other chemicals. Formaldehyde is a health risk and tends to aggravate allergies, especially with breathing or eye function. While paint does release small amounts of formaldehyde it is far from the only source. Many plastics, woods furniture items and new carpet also release formaldehyde. Modern paint is a minor contributor by comparison.
To detox the Room after it has been painted.
- Ventilate the room by opening windows and using a fan.
- Bowls of water with sliced lemon will soak up a lot of chemical smell. Some people also add some salt put several bowls of water and lemon around the room for several days after painting. Dispose of the lemon afterwards.
- Bowls of sliced onion also soak up chemical smells.
- Bicarbonate of Soda absorbs a lot of chemical smells. This is especially good on new carpet.
- Charcoal also absorbs odours. A few trays of charcoal in the room will help, though this is a nightmare to clean up if it spills.
- Consider using an air filter, particularity one with a HEPA filter.
Detoxing the house in general.
- Indoor plants are great for cleaning the air. This is a long term solution, but quite effective.
- Consider running an air purifier, at least occasionally. HEPA filter or charcoal filters are both effective.
- Let mattresses, linen, new carpet, new furniture and recently painted rooms be aired out for several days before use.
Newborn children and pregnant women should never be exposed to paint or recently painted rooms. Some chemicals are linked to birth defects.
Use of paints such as ENviro02 almost entirely eliminates any pollution or chemical smell.