FAQs: Safer baby nursery, FAQ 3
How can I make my baby’s nursery safer? There are many steps you can take to provide a toxin-free, nurturing environment for your baby. One place to start would be carefully choosing the paint you use. Most conventional paints contain solvents such as benzene, styrene, toluene, xylene, and formaldehyde which are known as volatile organic compounds (or VOCs). VOCs make that new paint smell, and they are toxic. These VOCs can have mild symptoms that irritate your airways and cause watery eyes or headaches, nausea, and fatigue. Some VOCs are carcinogenic or neurotoxic. Oil-based paints are some of the worst offenders for VOCs but check the labels and you will find VOCs in almost every can of conventional paint, stain, lacquer, varnish, sealant, and polyurethane.
The good news is there are alternatives to the conventional paints and stains. There are Low-VOC, VOC-free, and Natural or Organic paints available. For more information on these options, and other steps you can take to green your child’s nursery, see our online course My Baby’s Environment – IBE 110.1.
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