Hello, I walked into a bank this morning that had been painted just a few hours before (overnight). I spent approximately 30-40 minutes there waiting for the manager, reviewing paperwork, etc. I noticed the stong paint-fume smell as soon as I walked in and saw "wet paint" signs everywhere. By the elevators, it looked like they had painted with oil-based paint because the odor was particularly strong. My eyes and nose started stinging at one point and by the time I got out of there, I was feeling a little light-headed. Why the bank was letting customers in, I don't know but having read a lot about paint-fumes and how they cause permanent brain and lung damage, I have been a little concerned about whether this 30-40 mins stay there in the freshly painted enclosed area with no ventilation had the potential to cause (or actually caused) permanent brain and lung damage. I'd appreciate any feedback on this issue and how realistic my worries are in this situation. Thanks very much in adavnce!
I know that you are concerned for your health, however it would be difficult for me to tell you if you have any health issues from the exposure. If you feel that you are having problems, you need to see your doctor. They will be able to do bloodwork, breathing test,etc.Without knowing what product you were exposed to, or being able to look at the MSDS,( material safety data sheet ), it would be hard to determine your risk of overexposure. MSDS's provide vital information concerning the products and their risk factors. Also, if the bank has an air conditioning unit then it is ventilated well enough considering the amount of time passed since they painted. Good luck
There is little chance you have any long lasting problems from a single exposure. Sleep well tonight. The chances of having developed brain damage are about the same as you being abducted by aliens. The hazards of venipuncture for bloodwork exceed the hazard of the exposure, unless they were painting the walls with nerve agent.
Probably somebody at the bank used poor judgement and inadequate ventilation, but this is an imperfect world. Circa 2009, we have become extremely politically sensitive to fumes and potential exposures, but these solvents were used for a hundred years, and the human body is extremely resilient.
If you were a painter, or an industrial worker exposed to solvents day after day, it would be another situation.
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