Is Polyurethane Safe? The Facts and Alternatives to Consider
Few people are aware that polyurethane is one of the substances that is present in almost everything that you use in everyday life. It is found in adhesive, coatings and liquid paints. It also happens to be found in solid materials such as blades and wheels. In simple terms, you are likely to encounter polyurethane literally everywhere as you go on with your business of the day. It is present at home, at the office and everywhere else you go. The big question therefore is-what are the side effects of polyurethane fumes? Not so many people pay attention to the side effects of polyurethane fumes. Worse still, not many people are aware that fresh paint is one of the greatest contributors of polyurethane fumes. While avoiding polyurethane fumes might not be a possibility, it is important to understand a few things about the dangers of polyurethane fumes and how to reduce emission of VOC fumes that can cause major health complications in the long term.
Is Polyurethane Safe?
Polyurethane is used in a plethora of applications due to its versatility and durability. In most cases, it is the preferred substitute for substances that are either too expensive or hard to find. It is mainly used for insulation and wood coatings. In a house environment, not many people pay attention on the dangers of polyurethane fumes that are contained in paint. It is recommended that when painting the house; ensure that you use low VOC paint that is readily available. You should pay particular attention to paint for the nursery since babies are more vulnerable to health complications when exposed to polyurethane. The effort of using paint that has low VOC should not end at the baby’s room but adults too can suffer from the side effects of polyurethane fumes. The long term side effects of polyurethane fumes is that it can cause asthma attacks as well as potential body irritation. Extended exposure to polyurethane also tends to cause heave breathing and the possibility of developing lung infections. People with migraines are often advised to keep away from areas with polyurethane fumes.
Alternatives to Polyurethane
The reason why people still use products with high polyurethane is because sometimes they feel that they don’t have many options to choose from. However, this is far from the case. You can opt to buy the best low voc paint in order to minimize potential side effects of polyurethane fumes. Whether it’s your deck paint or the ideal paint for wooden floors, products such as green polyurethane can serve as better alternatives. Green polyurethane does not contain the hazardous substance isocynates when being manufactured. It is worth noting that green polyurethane has zero VOCs and is heavily resistant to chemical wear and tear. Another great alternative to polyurethane that contains isocynates is hard varnish. Hard varnish contains a mixture of waxes, plant oils and tree resins. This is a naturally plant-based varnish that intensifies the color of timber floors and wood. It is also a natural hardener that will no doubt give you a more durable varnish.