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Even though you know you’re supposed to wear protective gear, you’ve inhaled spray paint. Now what??
Not just the paint smell, but inhaling spray paint fumes can damage your lungs and other vital body organs. Learning how to clear lungs of spray paint will help relieve you from short and long-term side effects.
Let’s find out the home remedy for accidentally inhaling spraying paint fumes.
How Harmful Are Spray Paint Fumes for Your Lungs?
Most spray cans contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released in the air when applied on various projects. However, some paints contain isocyanates, and are potential carcinogens. It’s important to take safety precautions when using these paints at home or for work, like an auto body shop.
So, how harmful are spray paint fumes for your lungs? Prolonged exposure to a high concentration of paint fumes can trigger asthma. The condition will make your airways inflamed and narrow to cause breathing difficulty.
Other health effects caused by toxic fumes include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Irritation of the skin, nose, eyes, or throat.
If any of these things become excessive, see medical treatment from a physician.
Pregnant women should avoid painting during the first trimester since the side effects on the unborn baby’s lung are severe. I recommend using water-based paints in a well-ventilated room if you choose to decorate. Children should avoid paint fumes whenever possible as well.
Another excellent option is to use respirator masks since they prevent microscopic and scent-free particles from reaching your lungs when using a paint sprayer. Respirators provide maximum levels of protection against harmful vapors, mold spores, and chemicals.
How to Clean Lungs of Spray Paint?
We all know that aerosol spray paint fumes are harmful to our lungs. However, there is no need to panic after inhaling the paint fumes. Patience and attention are vital since the fumes won’t damage the body parts within seconds.
Unfortunately, there is no proven tool for cleaning your lungs with spray paint. But the following tips will help you clean spray paint from your lungs:
- Make Use of Air Purifiers: Appropriate air circulation can help clear out the lungs from the spray paint fumes. Install an air purifier to help cleanse fresh air when painting. Pure air inhalation will help removing spray paint from the air.
- Exercise to Improve Breathing: Regular exercise forces the body muscles to improve the breathing rate and blood circulation. It also facilitates the supply of oxygen and the elimination of carbon dioxide. The high breathing rate helps clear the lungs of spray paint in the long run. If you suffer from lung diseases, seek the advice of your doctor before exercising.
- Take a Walk Outside and Breathe in the Fresh Air: Inhaling spray paint is inevitable when decorating your indoor projects. Walking outside will help to inhale fresh air and free volatile elements from your lungs. Be sure to breathe normally and stay away from painted areas. The lungs will have an opportunity to remove paint particles during the breathing period.
- Fluids: Drinking fluids, especially milk, helps remove the toxins from your body.
- A Cup of Green Tea: Green tea contains antioxidant properties that reduce inflammation in the lungs. These substances also protect vital lung tissues from the adverse effect of spray paint fumes. According to research, regular consumption of green tea will reduce the risk of chronic obstructive lung diseases. It also increases oxygen supply in the lungs.
- Chest Percussion: Chest physiotherapy vibrations will move the stained mucus away from the airways and trigger coughing. It is a proven method for preventing spray paint fumes from reaching the lungs and damaging your pulmonary system. However, a medical professional with experience is needed for instruction on this technique to avoid hurting your chest.
- Anti-Inflammatory Foods: A diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods will reduce inflammation in the airways and lungs. It makes breathing easy, and the chest feels light. Consuming lots of anti-inflammatory foods, such as tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy vegetables, and other types, will relieve the symptoms associated with the inhalation of spray paint fumes.
- Avoid Artificial Scents: Most artificial scents have trace amounts of VOCs. For that reason, avoid perfumes or artificial scents after inhaling spray paint fumes for weeks or months. It allows the lungs to work and rejuvenate from the spray paint damages. Besides that, it eliminates the risk of VOC inhalation.
- Steam Therapy: Steam inhalation opens the airways and loosens the mucus around the lungs. The spray paint fumes usually stain the mucus in the lungs after inhalation. The steam therapy forces the loose mucus to drain and empty, while improving heart rate and respiratory performance.
- Controlled Coughing: Coughing help by removing toxin compounds stuck in the mucus naturally. Controlled coughing will loosen the mucus around the lungs and force it out via the airways. Cough about 2-3 times a day and exhale with mouth open. The routine will help clear lungs of spray paint fumes without any struggles.
Spray Painting Safety Precautions
Most aerosol cans are safe for use. But prolonged exposure to paint fumes clearly can cause both short- and long-term side effects. I recommend taking precautions when painting your projects.
Below are some spray painting safety steps for people to consider:
- Wear respirator masks to avoid inhalation of spray paint fumes.
- Open the doors and windows to improve indoor ventilation when painting.
- Take several breaks by going outside to breathe fresh air.
- Close leftover paint containers to prevent vapors from leaking, and wipe the lid of excess that was spilled.
- Always read safety guidelines on the spray paint package label before using it.
While spray paints are safe for use, prolonged exposure to paints and fumes can be detrimental to your health.
Consider the above paint tips to avoid health problems. Fast-acting treatment allows your body to repair, so you can get back to work safely.