Painting your home gives it a new and fresh look. It improves the overall structure of the home. But there is a chemical solvent that is thinner that is mixed with it, and it releases fumes.
Thinner is a chemical solvent mixture used in paints to dilute their consistency in industrial and household products. Inhalation of this thinner by occupational exposure or by substance abuse is hazardous and may cause some severe illness to humans. They can impair the normal functioning of the brain, lungs, liver, etc. These thinner fumes contain a very harmful compound known as VOC.
What are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)?
VOCs are the human-made chemicals used to manufacture paints, pharmaceuticals, and refrigerants. They are the types of fumes or gases that are emitted into the air from certain solids or liquids. Few of them are very harmful, and prolonged exposure can even cause cancer. At the same time, few may have short-term or long-term health effects.
Side effects of inhaling paint thinners
Paint thinners have a lot of side effects. Few of them are short-term, while others are long-term. Let us discuss them one by one.
Short-term side effects
1. Irritation of nose and throat
Paint thinners irritate the nose and throat as when you inhale these fumes, they reach the mucosal layer of the nose and throat and cause a burning or itching sensation, which can lead to rhinitis. Traveling of these fumes can further cause upper respiratory tract infection (URTI). After that, they travel to the lungs and can cause some serious respiratory problems.
2. Headache and dizziness
These fumes then trigger the neurons and impact the nervous system. They induce oxidative stress. Prolonged exposure to these fumes may even make you faint.
Exposure to thinner fumes can make you feel nauseated as they will enter the body through the nose and will activate the vomiting center in the brain, which will further make you dizzy and light-headed.
4. Labored breathing
It will irritate the mucosal layer of the respiratory tract, which will further lead to the inflammation of the inner layer of the respiratory tract and will make the passage narrower. This passage narrowing will make you feel like you are getting shortness of breath.
Long-term side effects
1. Respiratory issues
Inhaling the paint thinner smell for a prolonged time can cause severe respiratory problems such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), bronchitis, pulmonary edema, lung abscess, etc. These are the complications of short-term nose and throat irritations.
2. Nervous system disorders
They can even cause some untreatable nervous system disorders such as temporary memory loss, brain damage, hearing loss, mild cognitive impairment, altered sense of smell, and even dementia.
3. Vision problems
They can irritate the eyes and may cause eye infections. They can cause a very common eye disease, conjunctivitis, which is the inflammation of the conjunctiva. If we look for the long-term effects, then it can further lead to vision impairment and can cause near or far-sightedness or even both.
4. Blood disorders
Few studies have been conducted, and it has been found that paint thinners tend to damage the structure of DNA. This will directly affect the structure and function of cells. This alteration in the DNA of the cells will make the cells impair to build up protein and cause blood disorders such as leukemia, ie, and blood cancer.
Other side effects
Some people may even get addicted to the smell of paint thinners, and they start inhaling it regularly and get abused by it. This addiction has many severe effects.
A study conducted on non-occupational exposure of paint thinners on pregnant women has concluded that women who are in their first trimester of pregnancy may have the risk of some congenital abnormalities in their babies.
All these were the side effects of paint thinner smell at your home. All these side effects can subside by using some precautions and using safer paint thinners at your home.
Paint thinners are the solvents that are used in paints to dilute their consistency. They release a chemical substance called VOCs that has some severe side effects. They impair many organs and systems of our body and may cause many serious disorders such as respiratory, nervous, etc, and even pregnancy risk.