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Finding a Child Safe Paint That is Non Toxic and Zero VOC in an Over-Toxicated World

Aug 5, 2008
So, I am eight months pregnant and obsessed with getting my home ready for my new baby. Apparently this is a completely normal and, if my pregnancy books are correct, a scientifically proven reaction to being on the brink of bringing a new life into the world!

Most moms-to-be have this 'nesting instinct'--see, there is even a somewhat scientific name for this craziness. But it does make perfect sense. Baby ready to come, mom needs to have somewhere to put the baby. But a simple room won't do.

Oh no.

I need a brilliant, beautifully colored and gorgeous nursery for my new prodigy. And this is where my dilemma started.

I'm pretty careful about all things. I want no trans-fats, no toxins, completely sustainable, healthy for my planet, eat-local-act-global (you get my drift) products and have been doing a ton of research on all things related to my family and new baby. So in this vein, I did some reading on child safe non toxic paint. I always knew that I wanted a low odor paint, because somehow that 'fresh paint smell' has never really smelled that 'fresh' to me, and I was a bit dubious about what I was smelling anyway. And I am very pleased that I looked into this.

Apparently paints contain VOCs, volatile organic compounds that are not so great for the environment--they cause smog and affect the ozone layer--but are even worse for your home environment. The VOCs and toxins in these paints greatly reduce the air quality in your home and can lead to horrible things like throat, eye and nose problems, headaches, and even cancer. So while I am planning on being all natural with my baby's diet, I realized that it would be for nothing if I didn't paint his room with a completely zero toxin paint.

I also read that pregnant women shouldn't paint or be in the same area as those who are painting rooms, as it can affect your unborn baby. Made me really think about the threat that these paint fumes would be to my completely unprotected, new offspring sleeping peacefully in a crib in a newly painted, poisonous room.

Thankfully, there are new paints available that are completely free of toxins and are totally child safe. Look for the zero VOC, zero toxin products opposed to the ones that are low in VOCs or low in toxins. Some manufacturers are less than truthful with the way in which they communicate their ingredients on their labels and put the number of VOCs per liter as opposed to the actual number in a gallon--the normal size of a can of paint.

The smell is also something that I was right to be wary of. I learned that the smell of new paint is actually the solvents evaporating into the environment. These solvents are the things that contain the toxins and carcinogens, so the smell is not a good sign. Go for low odor--everything has an odor so you are not going to find a zero odor paint--but if it has zero toxins and zero VOCs on the label the low smell that you get should be safe anyway.

The new paints have a reputation for not being as good as the old reliable, poisonous paints. However, there are a few new companies out there who are really doing the research on this and are finding completely new ways to create paint. These guys' durability is as good as, if not better than, the traditional stuff. Many of them come in a huge variety of colors too--so don't feel that you can't have the nursery of your dreams in any color or colors that you want because you want to be healthy. Just do some research and you'll be safe!
About the Author
Delilah Jones is an expecting mother with a passion for zero VOC paint and its impact to consumer safety. She is also interested in how a 100 percent non toxic paint and low odor paint can correlate for baby and pregnant women.
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