How To Take Care Of Your Health When Doing DIY

We all know many dads who enjoy the challenged of DIY in the home, always creating, fixing and repairing things. So many in fact, that the global DIY market was worth a staggering 43 billion dollars, and home improvement stores produced $144 billion in 2017/18.

It’s commonplace for dads to have immaculate workshops in their garages, with their restoring large quantities of wood, pounds of plastic , and machine tools, saws, car and these days even metal marking  and engraving equipment which is designed for home use, similar in effect to the large industrial equipment sold to industrial businesses by

With DIY in the home comes the potential risks of you being exposed to harmful chemical substances, so here we will look at the everyday products that you use, and what to look for to minimize the health risks.

How To Choose Healthier Paints

Conventional paint can emit formaldehyde from preservatives, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that vaporize easily into gases, which can cause headaches, and varied damage to your nervous system, evn kidney damage in the longer-term. Instead, choose paints which are water-based latex, and which are Green Seal certified (which limits the VOCs and other harmful compounds). As a quick guide look for and use paints that are:

  • plant or mineral based

  • milk paints (as opposed to water or latex based)

  • not anti-fungal or anti-microbial (they contain pesticides)

  • marked as high-performance coverage (less costs of paint, less toxins)


Woodworking Health And Safety

As a DIY-dad, there is a real satisfaction to working with and building things from wood. Traditions in woodworking go back as far as Ancient Egypt (before 3000 B.C.) where woodworkers would use tools to create elaborate furniture for the pharaohs.

Now you may have less ambition for your cabinetry, but you will still want to use wood and paint strippers, and wood finishes as part of your craftsmanship, and the sad fact is that almost without exception these emit toxic chemicals. Here you want to:

  • avoid chemical and petroleum-based solvents where possible

  • use Green-Seal certified stains and finishes (if you cannot find Green Seal certified stains and finishes, try to use water-based ones)

  • always check for VOC levels on the labels

  • as a last resort, use oil-based natural stains and finishes

Always avoid using acrylic, varnish or urethane finishes – these are really difficult to clean up, and if you these splash onto your hair and scalp, they will severely dry out your scalp, in which case use a 3-in-1 scalp serum from to help hydrate your hair and scalp.


Plumbing and Safety - Don’t Let Your Health Go Down The Drain

With any home, it is inevitable there will be plumbing issues as some time. There are a couple of important issues to look out for when doing plumbing repairs:

  • older pipes are more likely to contain poisonous lead, which can end up in your tap water. Use copper piping where possible and use lead-fee joints

  • if budget is an issue use polypropylene pipes, which are plastic and will be more resistant to leaching chemicals than other plastic pipes


DIY Safety Tips

In general, make it a habit to take adequate safety precautions when doing DIY in and around your home

  • work in well-ventilated areas if possible;

  • wear safety goggles and a respirator

  • wear appropriate protective clothing when working with chemicals

  • store easily ignitable substances securely and never cook or eat near where you are working

  • wash any substances off your skin, hair and nails as soon as possible, to avoid absorbing them into your body

  • use the best quality tools and products that you can afford


Take these steps to preserve your safety and you’ll make home DIY a healthier and happier pastime. If you have had problems with DIY safety, share them with our community in the comments below.