What about pregnancy and recreational use?
Sniffing or inhaling paint solvents while using paints recreationally is dangerous whether you are pregnant or not. High levels of exposure are provided by sniffing and inhaling paints, which increases the danger to the unborn child—including miscarriage or birth defects.
Safe Paint to Use While Pregnant
There isn’t a kind of paint that is thought to be completely safe for expectant mothers. That said, not all paints are created equal. When pregnant, Valle says, “we typically try to advocate that you should avoid paints with harsh solvents if you’re going to be around paint.” Here, we describe the various paint varieties and what to watch out for.
Since oil-based paint contains harsh solvents, Valle advises against using it when painting while expecting. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are released by this type of paint, can result in headaches, eye irritation, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. According to Twogood, high levels of exposure to paints containing the solvent toluene have been shown to result in growth limitations and small head size in newborns, symptoms resembling fetal alcohol syndrome.
Although acrylic or latex paint is water-based and is thought to be significantly safer than oil-based alternatives, it can still contain some solvents and present risks to expectant mothers, according to Valle. Avoid anything that contains ethylene glycol, ethers or biocides.
Nowadays, the majority of paints are marketed as zero-VOC products, and they are typically thought to be the best option for painting while pregnant. Though some paint bases don’t contain VOCs, the color pigment that is added later may do so. The fact that they have zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs) does not, however, guarantee that they are safe to use while pregnant, according to Valle.