Most paints offgas, or let off toxic fumes. It is possible to find low-VOC or no-VOC types of paint, where minimal offgassing occurs. Some of these environmentally friendly paints are milk based.
Also, if your home was built before 1978, your paint most likely has lead in it or under it. Lead is toxic so it is important that you keep the paint in good shape. Deteriorating paint causes lead dust to accumulate with humans can breath in. Exposure to lead paint can cause loss of IQ points, antisocial behavior, auditory problems, and even death in very high doses. The quick way to tell if your paint is lead or not is that lead paint is very brittle and chips off in tiny pieces—kind of looking like alligator skin. Latex paint looks more plastic-y and peels off in bigger chunks.
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