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Possible paint fume side-effects
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Possible paint fume side-effects

Greetings! While painting our son's bedroom, all of us have been exposed to "standard" paint and primer fumes for about 2 days.  Last night and this morning, my children, ages 9 and 12, have been complaining of stuffy noses and headaches.  Could the paint fumes be the cause?  We've kept the single window open in the room while we were painting, and had the ceiling fan going.  Thanks!
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello,

The recommendations and information provided above by "caregiver222" are appreciated.

I would follow with the simple response that, yes, it is possible that the vapors from the paint was/is the cause of the symptoms based.

One additional suggestion based on the configuration of the room (one window) is to place a fan in the window (blowing out) to create differential/negative pressure in the room. You can leave the door cracked to allow outside air into the room.

Do you have central air conditioning in the home? If so, make sure the vent is open and this can provide fresh air into the room that can be exhausted via the fan placed outward in the window.

~•~ 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.
2 Comments
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144586_tn?1284669764
Generally the drill while painting and for a day or so afterwards is to have two windows open. One window is to admit outside air. Within the other window an exhaust fan is placed to suck air out of the room and send it outside. Three days with this arrangement should clear out all toxic particles. Then leave the window open for another week.  A ceiling fan doesn't accomplish much. Modern pain solvents are considerably less hazardous, but not entirely hazard free. A solvent posses "volatility" which means it evaporates into the air, leaving a solid surface of paint. The rapidity with which it evaporates determines the relative hazard. Once these molecules mix with the room air, the idea is to remove them as soon as possible. To prevent them from migrating elsewhere in the apartment an exhaust fan is placed in the room being painted and an open window elsewhere. This assures there is a differential in pressure between the rooms. Headaches are certainly possible, even with low levels of solvent. Whether or not there is the chance of long-term damage is a "how many angels are on the head of a pin" question. I wouldn't worry.  In the United States, modern painting solvents from reputable companies are relatively harmless if simple common sense instructions are followed.
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Philip D Parks, MD, MPH, MOccH, F...Blank
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