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Oil based paint around infant
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Oil based paint around infant

I will soon be moving into a house that was recently painted with oil based paint.  I will be moving into the home with my 4 month old.  

When we move in, the painting will have been completed for a total of 2 wks.  Based on your knowledge, do you recommend not moving into this home with the alloted time frame of 2 wks or should this be a relatively safe time frame to allow the fumes to dissipate.  

Note: FL home, so windows only were opened for approx. 1 day
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello,

It is difficult to provide a definitive answer regarding when it will be absolutely "safe" to enter areas after painting.

However, 2 weeks should be a sufficient amount of time for the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to substantially dissipate.

Additionally, here is a link from the EPA: http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/kids/hometour/products/lpaint.htm

~•~ Dr. Parks

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. The information presented in this posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
6 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you.  I researched the type of paint used which is the brand "Deboe".  This brand claims to use no more than 50 VOC's per liter?  Do you know if this is considered low VOC paint or not?

Thanks so much again.  I am mostly concerned about causing nervous system damage to my delicate 4 month old.  Thanks again!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you.  I researched the type of paint used which is the brand "Deboe".  This brand claims to use no more than 50 VOC's per liter?  Do you know if this is considered low VOC paint or not?

Thanks so much again.  I am mostly concerned about causing nervous system damage to my delicate 4 month old.  Thanks again!
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hi,

LOW VOC Nomenclature (according to the EPA):

Latex and Flat-finish Paints - Low-VOC Paint  < 250 g/L

Oil-based and All  Other Paints     < 380 g/L

VOC-free Paint    < 5 g/L
                    
Most low-VOC paints sold by reputable dealers, though, tend to have levels of 50 g/L or below. Keep in mind that the numbers cited on the paint can are measurements taken before the paint's pigment or any additives are added, both of which can contribute more VOCs. Pigments, for example, can add roughly 10 g/L [source: Eartheasy].

Paints that carry the "Green Seal" are guaranteed to meet precise environmental standards for the VOC content. Paints with VOC contents below 100g/L for a non-flat finish and 50 g/L for a flat finish meet the "Green Seal" limit. The "Green Seal" VOC content limit for primers and floor paints is also 100 g/L; whereas reflective wall coatings cannot exceed the 50 g/L mark. [According to Green Seal].

From the EPA Website:

Table 2.1
Definition of Low VOC Content Levels

Material or Product Low VOC Content Level
Form Release Agents 350 g/L VOC content
Plastic Laminate Adhesive 20 g/L VOC content
Casework and Millwork Adhesives 20 g/L VOC content
Transparent Wood Finish Systems 350 g/L VOC content
Cast Resin Countertop silicone Sealant 20 g/L VOC content
Garage Deck Sealer 600 g/L VOC content
Water based Joint Sealants 50 g/L VOC content
Non-water based Joint Sealants 350 g/L VOC content
Portland Cement Plaster 20 g/L VOC content
Gypsum Drywall Joint Compound 20 g/L VOC content
Terrazzo Sealer 250 g/L VOC content
Acoustic Panel Ceiling Finish 50 g/L VOC content
Resilient Tile Flooring Adhesive 100 g/L VOC content
Vinyl Flooring Adhesives 100 g/L VOC content
Carpet Adhesive 50 g/L VOC content
Carpet Seam Sealer 50 g/L VOC content
Water-based Paint & Polychromatic finish coatings 150 g/L VOC content
Solvent -based Paint 380 g/L VOC content
High Performance Water-Based Acrylic coatings 250 g/L VOC content
Pigmented Acrylic Sealers 250 g/L VOC content
Catalyzed Epoxy coatings 250 g/L VOC content
High Performance Silicone 250 g/L VOC content
Casework Sealant 50 g/L VOC content
Liquid membrane-forming curing & sealing compound 350 g/L VOC content


~•~ Dr. Parks

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. The information presented in this posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks again for the valuable information.  Two more questions regarding VOC's and then I will leave you alone :-)  

Is it the bigger the home being painted/remodeled, the less concentrated the VOC's would be and perhaps the less dangerous to health if they are more dispersed.  

The home we are moving into is very open and large with tall, cathedral ceilings so I am hoping this will make the VOC's a little less harmful since they are spread out more.  Is this valid?

Also, is there a point (say within several wks) that the paint and adhesives will finsih off-gassing and discontinue releasing VOC's at a high or dangerous level?
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello again,

Theoretically, the answer to both of your questions is, "yes".

~•~ Dr. Parks

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. The information presented in this posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
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