Can Paint Fumes Cause Cancer?

Paint Fume VOCsPainters are subjected to a great deal of complicated chemical compounds and mixtures that usually generate poisonous fumes, which are known to cause carcinogenic complications.

According to certain research published in the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, painters are significantly exposed to greater risks of contracting various types of diseases, including cancer of the lungs, kidney, and bladder.

Most paints that are used for decorating homes contain dangerous chemical substances, such as VOCs (Volatile-Organic-Compounds) and harmful solvents. When the paint dries up, the chemical compounds are converted into gases, which are then released into the atmosphere.

When the painter and people nearby inhale the paint fumes, they’re more likely to suffer from nose, throat, and eye irritation. In great amounts, studies have clearly shown that these chemical substances can cause cancers, birth complications, and damage to the brain.

Paints And VOCs

Paints can be classified into 2 categories: oil-based and water-based. The former is used particularly for a glossy finish. A certain liquid (solvent) is added to such paints in order to thin them, making the mixture spread well. The latter kinds of paints are usually acrylic emulsions and are used when painting walls.

Generally, paints and thinners contain VOCs, the chemical compounds that are easily converted into gases or vapors. VOCs are also found in most consumer products such as cigarettes, dry cleaning products, cleansers, building furnishes, adhesives, and more.

Commonly, VOCs enter a person’s body when one comes into contact with their products, or when someone inhales materials containing them, such as paints and cigarettes. Breathing in gases containing these chemicals can exacerbate sinusitis and asthma.

When inhaled, the VOCs are taken into the lungs, and then absorbed into the blood stream, which transports them to various parts of the body. This can lead to dizziness and headaches, or total loss of consciousness when used in a poorly ventilated room.

Paint And VOCs

Health Effects To Painters

Painters, or people involved in the manufacturing of various kinds of paints, become the major victims of VOCs exposure. The risks increase as one continues to work in the paint industry.

A number of studies have found out that people engaged in paint and coating manufacturing plants have an increased possibility of developing cancers of the larynx, liver, lungs, bladder, skin, bowel, and esophagus.

Statistics indicate that there is an increased probability of contracting bladder cancer and lung cancer among painters; and acute leukemia and lung cancer among varnish and paint plant workers. Risks for women developing cancer are found higher for the larynx, esophagus, and oral cavity among glazers and lacquerers.

The IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) estimates that cancer of the bladder is the world’s ninth most common type of cancer, with over three hundred thousand new cases reported yearly. Smoking is the number one cause, followed by job occupation, including painting.

The Best Ways To Get Rid Of Paint Fumes

To get rid of suffocating paint odors after decorating your home, you need to use the following methods in order to avoid vision problems, lung irritation, headaches, and cancers.


Using charcoal can help absorb all kinds of bad smells and harmful paint gases in your home. Simply put, crush charcoal in several buckets and place them in your house, especially where painting has been done. In an hour, all the paint odor will be absorbed.


Slice about two onions and put them in separate bowls. Inside the room where the painting was being done, place the bowls with the flesh side facing upwards. All smell will be absorbed in no time.

Solution to Getting Rid of Suffocating Paint OdorsCandle

The use of candles to remove bad odor after painting is the most unique trick, and the most effective. Placing burning candles in the painted rooms can help burn the harmful solvents, removing all unnecessary smells in your house.


Painters need to be careful when they’re painting. Prolonged use of paints usually leads to many kinds of diseases, including cancer, that may be untreatable and lead to death. Use this information to prevent unnecessary health problems.

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