Author: Neo Kitchen
Kitchen is the place at home where family members gather not only to eat but also to socialize and bond. With that, we want this personal space to be as comfortable and safe as possible. However, what if there is danger being emitted from the walls and baseboards of your kitchen that you just don’t know?
With painting the interior of your kitchen or removing older paints, you risk not only yourself but also your children to the silent danger that comes with the emission of toxic chemicals from some paints. You may think that painting is not harmful but having no knowledge of indoor paint risks may put your kids in harm in the long run.
So to help you, your kids, and your whole family safe, this article will discuss the kind of kitchen paints that may pose harm.
What are indoor or kitchen paints?
A paint is a pigment that is mixed in a liquid termed as the solvent. These paints can then be utilized for application to surfaces such as the kitchen walls. Other than these two basic components, there are other additives that are usually added.
Today, there are two different types of indoor and kitchen cabinets paints that you can choose from. These include: Latex or water-based paints which contain water as the primary liquid, although some other solvents may also be included; and Alkyd or oil-based paints which utilizes solvents other than water, such as organic solvents.
What are Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)?
A fresh coat of kitchen is certainly delightful to the eyes, but the smell it brings can actually pose a health risk to you. Many paints, including those we use in our kitchen spaces, can off-gas Volatile Organic Compounds. VOCs are emitted into the air as gases from solids or liquids that contain organic chemicals, such as paints and varnishes. One of the most common VOCs that are found in paints include toluene, xylene, acetone, formaldehyde, benzene, among others.
Exposure to these VOCs can result in health problems that may occur sooner or later. With that, it is ideal that you use paints that have Low-VOC or no VOCs at all in order to protect your children from these harmful chemicals. So when shopping for paint, check the labels for you to have an idea of the product’s VOC levels. You can also find no- or low-VOC paints made with plant-based dyes in the market. Limiting the use of products that generate VOCs and taking safety measures when using them will surely be beneficial for you and your kids. Knowing which products contain high levels of VOCs is an essential part of learning how to improve your kitchen’s indoor air quality.
What is lead-based paint?
Lead-based paint has been greatly used before. Whether ingested or inhaled, lead is readily absorbed and distributed throughout the body. With that, Lead and lead compounds are toxic and can present a severe hazard to those who are overexposed to them.
Lead compounds were a vital component of several paints until 1978. With that, homes built before this era may contain kitchens that have lead-based paint. During these times, lead was added to paint to promote adhesion, corrosion control, drying, and covering. Furthermore, lead-based paint was utilized greatly on exteriors and interior trim-work, window sills, sashes, window frames, baseboards, wainscoting, doors, frames, and high-gloss wall surfaces, such as those found in the kitchen.
It must be noted that children are more vulnerable to lead poisoning than are adults because they have certain activities such as swallowing chipped paints or playing with kitchen walls that are painted with lead-based paint.
Today, using lead-based paints is not allowed anymore. Hence, the market does not sell these kinds of paint and thus you do not have problems with lead-based anymore. However, it is still a good habit to read labels before buying anything just to be sure.
- Centers For Disease Control And Prevention. 2009. Chapter 5: Indoor Air Pollutants and Toxic Materials. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/publications/books/housing/cha05.htm. Retrieved on 23 April 2021.
- Molekule. 2019. VOCs: The Hidden Danger for Your Growing Child. Retrieved from: https://molekule.science/vocs-the-hidden-danger-for-your-growing-child/. Retrieved on 23 April 2021.
- Seladi-Schulman, J. Healthline. 2019. How Paint Fumes Affect Your Health and How to Prevent Exposure. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/paint-fumes. Retrieved on 23 April 2021.