I came across an article the other day about paint and pregnancy. Yes, that paint — the kind that you put on a canvas or slap on your walls. Did you know that paint is made of pigment particles in a liquid base called a medium? Oil paints are thinned or cleaned with paint thinners. Latex paints are thinned or cleaned with water. Most paint that’s used in the home is latex.
Can environmental forces affected pregnancy? The short answer is “yes,” according to the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS), whose mission is to study malformations of the unborn.
Regarding paint and pregnancy, the amount of exposure is important. A one-time household exposure causes fewer problems than ongoing exposure through a work setting. And there have been medical studies documenting babies being born with problems if their mothers abused toluene-containing paint in order to “get high.” Toluene is a paint thinner that can cause low birth weight, premature labor, small head size, and developmental delays. Again, these problems only occur if pregnant women have been exposed to very high levels of toluene — much higher levels than exposure based on a hobby or a professional painter.
According to OTIS, working as a painter doesn’t pose concrete risks to the pregnancy. However, any reduction in chemical exposure is always a good thing. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway*