Protect Your Family From Dangerous Paint Chemicals

Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk tells readers what dangerous paint chemicals to watch out for when painting your home.

Dangerous paint chemicals can harm your family and hurt the environment.

Dangerous paint chemicals can harm your family and hurt the environment.

PHOTO: FOTOLIA/DELKOO

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Learn about these dangerous paint chemicals that can harm your family and the environment.

Dangerous Paint Chemicals You Need to Know About

Chemicals to Avoid

Ammonia: Used as a mildewcide and as a pigment solvent. Ammonia is an eye and respiratory irritant.

Glycolesters: Used as a solvent to help pigment mix more easily into paint bases. Can be absorbed through the skin and, with prolonged exposure, can cause organ damage.

Heavy metals (cobalt, cadmium): Used as pigments, drying agents or biocides. These chemicals are neurotoxins and also can damage the liver and kidneys.

Phthalates (dibutyl phthalate): Give the paint better spreadability. Can cause eye and skin irritation. They are toxic when inhaled or ingested.

Tolulene (methyl benzene): Used as a paint solvent. Tolulene can negatively affect the nervous system, kidneys and heart.