Is that Fresh Coat of Paint Contributing to Your Child’s Allergies or Asthma?

August 30, 2015
Ross and Witmer

If you or a loved one has asthma, you want to create the healthiest home environment possible to reduce asthma triggers. Minimizing exposure to these triggers takes a lot of planning and effort, especially in Charlotte when pollen and other allergens play a factor, but the payoff is well worth it. While many common asthma triggers are obvious, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like those found in solvents and many water-based paints are often overlooked, aggravating asthma symptoms.

Paint Risks

Homeowners understand the dangers of lead-based paints, but many aren’t aware that modern paint formulas house dangers of their own. When a fresh coat of paint dries, VOCs evaporate into the air where the toxic fumes can be inhaled. Once inhaled, these fumes are absorbed into the blood stream, resulting in headaches and dizziness.

Asthma sufferers sleeping in bedrooms that contain these fumes are more likely to suffer from allergies or asthma, and children are particularly affected.

What Can be Done?

No-VOC and low-VOC paints are available, but this does little good if your home already has VOC paint on the walls. You can remove the old paint to eradicate the source, which requires stripping and sanding. In older homes, this increases the chances of uncovering lead paint, so be careful. Simply painting over VOC paint with a non-toxic option often does the trick, but it works best on paint jobs that are more than five years old. Another option is to use a sealing primer, which are effective in blocking VOCs.

Maintaining proper ventilation throughout the home is also crucial. Professional efficiency consultations can determine if your air ducts are clean and functioning properly, and indoor quality tests alert you to any other issues that may be present. If you’re concerned about asthma triggers inside your home, it’s important to have a professional inspection that includes your HVAC system and ductwork. You may need to implement fresh air systems that provide healthy air circulation throughout the home at all times.

Schedule an indoor air quality assessment with Ross & Witmer by calling (704) 392-6188 today.

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