Is Painting During Pregnancy a Good Idea?
The potential risks to baby
You may wonder if science really backs the idea that you shouldn’t be painting — or if people are just worried about falling off a ladder during the project.
There are obvious ethical issues when it comes to conducting research studies on pregnant people. But we do have some data to draw from.
In a 2017 study, researchers looked at rats that were exposed to too much toluene-based paint inhalation. The study revealed that prenatal exposure led to concerning results regarding spatial memory function in the rats’ offspring. These impairments continued to be an issue into adolescence.
While humans aren’t rats, this study suggests that paint inhalation may be a risk to the brain development of the baby, which can impact their childhood development as well.
A 2019 study concluded that home renovations were “significantly associated with male genital abnormality,” causing concern for women carrying baby boy fetuses. Researchers noted that the time frame in which babies are exposed to home renovations and the level of exposure does matter.
The same study discredits previous ideas about certain other birth abnormalities that were traditionally thought to be caused by paint fume inhalation, such as cleft palate.