Can Paint Fumes Make You Sick?

Caspar Benson/Getty Images

Paint fumes can cause a wide variety of short-term and chronic ill effects on a person’s health. The severity of the health concern depends on the length of exposure to the fumes as well as the degree of exposure.

Mild exposure to paint fumes may cause headaches, loss of coordination, visual disturbances, nausea, lightheadedness, dizziness, fatigue and irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, among other symptoms. These symptoms are likely to be temporary but may become chronic with frequent exposure to paint fumes. Long-term effects may include asthma, cancer and damage to the liver, kidneys or the central nervous system.