Mums-to-be should be congratulated for deciding to protect their baby’s health by making healthy dietary changes for themselves but what are the unforeseen issues that can affect the health of that precious newborn?

In preparing a nursery, many new parents consider painting the walls.

Before you pick up a paint brush, consider the toxins that may lurk in that fresh coat of paint, toxins that will affect the air quality of the room and in turn be inhaled by those tiny lungs. 

These harmful VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) include xylene, epoxy resins and formaldehyde which vaporise into the air as the paint dries.  If ventilation isn’t sufficient these dangerous compounds can accumulate in the air spaces and ‘off gas’ for literally years.   VOCs have been associated with health issues ranging from headaches and the development of allergies to behavioural and learning difficulties, kidney and liver damage. 

Paint it safe:

  • Choose non VOC, acrylic based paints or natural paints made from plants, clays and minerals.
  • Ensure safe practice when removing old paint that may contain toxic lead (sometimes it’s safer to use a primer and just paint over the old paint)..  
  • Ensure mum-to-be is not the one delegated the task of removing old paint nor painting the room if the paint contains even low VOC’s. 
  • Make sure the nursery is painted a couple of months before the birth.

If you’re planning to paint the nursery, Architecture and Design
suggests 8 low or non VOC paint brands available in Australia. Non VOC’s for a nursery are obviously preferable. 

Other VOC free natural paints that are highly recommended include: 
Bio products
( The retail store Eco at Home at Willoughby provides Livos, Bioproducts and Rockcote)

For ease of organising all the paint accessories, Conscious Paints provides prepackaged paint kits with their chosen brand of Non VOC acrylic paint, Ecolour.

If you’re painting needs extend beyond the nursery and you don’t want to put brush to wall yourself,   Greenpainters Association supplies a list of painters well versed in non toxic paints who service your area.

Breathe easy and happy painting!! 

Merrilee Linegar, herbalist & nutritionist