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Painting and health

Painting and health
You take some care when they go paint?
I have 2 friends painters who died recently of cancer in the lung.
Will the solvent and / or pigments cause cancer?
Sorry! My English is not good!

I think too many people are utterly paranoid over solvents and everything else associated with painting. The most obvious approach is to use one’s intelligence. Such as (a) don’t suck brushes when you’re painting, like some folk do to put a fine point on their watercolour brush; (b) seek out alternatives to things like turps such as lower-odour solvents (Zest-It comes to mind); © wash your hands if you get paint on them; (d) if you’re really paranoid and want to avoid the use of cadmium-based paint then you can…there are enough colours in the world based on different materials to satisfy most people’s needs. (e) Try not to blow on pastels, it creates fine-particle dust clouds that can be breathed in. Just a few examples.
There are “dangers” in every single hobby that I can think of. If we worried all the time about whether or not things would kill us, we’d never do anything.

I have been watercolors painting for more than forty years. A few months ago I was tested for and told I have heavy metal poisoning. Some of the heavy metals I tested positive for can only be attributed to paints. I have always been very careful when painting - no food or drink, no putting brushes in my mouth, always washing my hands after painting. Given my awareness and precautions I was told that I must have a system that easily absorbs heavy metals. Huh . . . It has taken years of unexplained symptoms for the doctors to decide to test me for heavy metals . . . . For now I am not painting until this heavy metal thing is resolved. If you find you are tired, easily get headaches, suffer from migraines, cannot sleep through the night, get numbness or tingling, have trouble with your eyes, are irritable, you might wish to get tested for heavy metals. The test I had done in the states cost $100.00. I think that is small price to pay.

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Corinne, sorry to hear about the metal poisoning. I thought I would share a story about my husbands’ coworker (Dave) who had high metals in his system. Dave took advice from a natural health professional, and drank Rooibos tea regularly to reduce lead levels. It has proven to lower his lead level substantially. It may not work for you or you may be allergic to Rooibos tea, so please use with caution.

Marinez, I think it is best to have a fan installed in your painting room, maybe a high efficient bathroom fan to draw fumes out of your painting room.

I too wear the Nitrile gloves, however, I wear gloves which are too big for my hands. I find it’s advantageous because I can easily slip the gloves off and reuse them, whereas the small gloves were a one time use and toss. Annoying at first, however, I bake often, and I certainly don’t want our children exposed to toxins which are preventable. After a few years of wearing these loose gloves, I hardly even notice them.

If you can, install a separate sink where you can wash all painting materials. Using the same sink where you cook or bathe is never a good idea.

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Thanks for the Rooibos tea tip. I see my naturopath again tomorrow to discuss the detox treatment options again. My doctors are in disagreement about the best way to proceed with treatment. sigh . . . .

Thank Christine Derrick, Corinne Aelbers, Khanh Murray for contributing information to preserve our health , which is our most prized possession