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4 Dangers Associated With Polyurethane Fumes

Picking out paint

If you’re having floor work conducted within your home, you’ll want to know about the potential dangers of VOCs associated with a material known as polyurethane. You’ll find that VOCs stands for volatile organic compounds. High concentrations of these materials have been shown to be hazardous to human health. It’s understandable to avoid side effects with VOC exposure associated with polyurethane materials that are commonly used to treat floors. It’s understandable to ask yourself what are polyurethane fumes and how will they affect me? With that in mind, here are four dangers of exposure to polyurethane fumes.

  1. Breathing Problems

    There are many polyurethane fumes side effects, one of which is experiencing problems related to how you breathe. Many symptoms of being exposed to polyurethane mimic allergies. Therefore, you might ask yourself what are polyurethane fumes and how to do they cause allergic symptoms? Those not avoiding polyurethane fumes could begin experience shortness of breath when considering that polyurethane is a type of respiratory toxin. It’s common for people to experience these problems while in homes with brand new flooring. Considering that, it’s best to use something organic or that a product that contains no VOC while painting or coating your new floor.
  2. Eye and Throat Irritation

    You might be wondering what are polyurethane fumes and why are they so dangerous? If you’ve been exposed to polyurethane fumes, you might find that suffering from a sore throat or itchy eyes could make you believe you’re dealing with allergies. That being said, you’ll want to remove yourself away from the source of polyurethane to be extra safe. It’s common to experience having an irritated throat and itchy eyes while being near untreated polyurethane. If you want to have your wooden floors coated without having to experience these symptoms, it’s wise to consider an eco friendly polyurethane. This material helps to give your floors the gloss varnish it needs without hindering your health.
  3. Vomiting

    In certain situations, your body will start a process that makes you throw up in order to rid itself of its content. You’ll commonly find that people who are exposed to polyurethane for a certain amount of time often begin feeling sick to their stomach. In turn, certain individuals will become sick enough to begin throwing up. If you begin throwing up after you’ve been near a source of untreated polyurethane, it’s best to get away from this area as soon as possible.
  4. Potential Lower Cognitive Ability

    Not all side effects associated with exposure to polyurethane and VOCs are felt right away. Considering that, you might be surprised to learn that continued exposure to polyurethane can begin to impair your cognitive abilities. In fact, a recent study was conducted in which participants spent six days in a workspace in which VOC levels were lower than normal. The results of this study found that cognitive scores among these workers skyrocketed to becoming 101% higher than they were in their actual workspace. In addition, a report that was conducted by CBC Marketplace found that VOC levels high than 500 ppb can cause major problems for those who have sensitivities to chemicals.

To summarize, there are a few common side effects associated with exposure to polyurethane fumes. It’s understandable to wonder what are polyurethane fumes and where are they found? Sources of polyurethane fumes often come from products used to treat wooden surfaces. It’s common for those around polyurethane for long periods of time to begin having problems breathing properly. You’ll find that it’s common to deal with eye and throat problems while being exposed to this material. In certain situations, those who are exposed to polyurethane might begin throwing up. Not every side effect associated with polyurethane exposure is noticed immediately. Certain studies have found that workers in environments with fewer VOCs were able to perform at a much higher level in relation to their cognitive abilities.


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