What is child safe paint? Volatile Organic Compounds in paints create toxic fumes which are hazardous for health. These act as additives in paints where the main pigment is mixed with a solvent creating the texture that paint has. Although there is no proof that these toxic fumes caused by VOCs such as toluene and xylene are the cause behind some of the disorders, precaution is advised. Oil based paints have some carcinogens such as benzene and being in a room with such paint could lead to a high exposure to this carcinogen. These are the long term diseases, there are short term diseases which include dizziness, nausea and irritation in eyes or skin when exposed to such carcinogens. Such carcinogens could be absorbed into the blood through inhalation or by contact with skin from where they damage the organs. This is why children are deemed to be more at risk since their immune system is still developing. Moreover, kids are more exposed to such harmful paints because of the toys they play with, this is why it is ensured that the paint used for these toys is safe.
Are there VOCs in child safe paint?
Strong pungent fumes can be smelled from such toxic paints which is the main concern of parents. Child safe paints are up to the certified British Standards which restricts the addition of any such hazardous VOC in the paint. Such strict safety measures are regularly checked so that toys and decorating materials which are related to kids must be painted using these harmless paints. The standard set has a specific amount of bioavailability for the compound being used in the paints. This is done so that such compounds are absorbed in an amount which is not harmful for children. In other words, negligible amounts of these compounds are ensured in child safe paints.
Safest wall paint for children
Other paints are usually not tested which is why they are labeled as not safe for children. This test should be important for paints which are used purely for painting walls or ceilings too. Parents consider the fumes as a test to identify which paints are toxic and which are not. However, the VOCs should be the standard to set the two types apart. Almost all of the paints used in the UK are made to go through this standardised test which makes most of them safe, oil based paints and those which have satin finishes are still not safe for children’s toys and decorating walls. In this regard, the safest paints for children are the ones which have the lowest VOCs, some are even close to zero!
With the advancement in the industrial sector, paints are becoming more and more environmentally friendly as well. Some of these child safe paints in the market are also safe for the environment, can be easily washed from walls and safe for children’s toys. The ideal solution would be to look for paints which have certified toy safe written on them with close to zero VOC.
Have a look here for paints suitable for a nursery or painting a cot
Can Paint affect babies? Standard off the shelf house paint is full of chemicals and nasties, and research shows that this can lead to health issues from prolonged exposure. We always advise to use a zero VOC natural paint for any interior room, especially for a baby!
We suggest looking at the natural cot paint here