Is Turpentine Paint Harmful To the Lungs?

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My mother who is ninety years old is a victim of asthma since several years as well as many other health complications. Since quite some time now, her health has taken a turn for the better to such an extent that she is back to oil painting which was a great hobby of hers. She uses Turpentine to clean and she sits in the garage with doors open. I find the smell of turpentine wafting into the house when the kitchen is opened and I really feel my nose burning. My mother has lost all her sense of smell and she feels that this may not be harming her lungs as she is not able to smell them. But I am not really sure about this. I would like to know whether these paints can cause any harm to her lungs. She uses her nebuliser two times a day and will thus act as a preventive to any further damage that can be caused to the lungs as a result of the paint and cleaner? I would be extremely grateful if someone can tell me where I will be able to obtain some article which will make her aware of the danger of being near these things. Please do reply at the earliest if you will be able to shed some light on this matter.
asked Feb 16, 2011 by anonymous

1 Answer

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Yes. Effects on Humans: Turpentine is a skin, eye, mucous membrane, and upper respiratory tract irritant in humans. It may also cause skin sensitization and central nervous system, gastrointestinal, and urinary tract effects.

Chronic exposure: The signs and symptoms of chronic exposure to turpentine include dermatitis or eczema, with irritation, redness, swelling, and small or large fluid-filled blisters on the skin. Workers exposed to terpenes (a principal component of turpentine) for longer than 5 years may also be at greater risk of developing lung cancer.

You can check for more details on this site under "health hazard information": http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/healthguidelines/turpentine/recognition.html
answered Mar 30, 2013 by lois Diamond Guide (1,245 points)

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