Q: Can I paint while I'm pregnant?
A: You can, with certain precautions. For example, you should pay close attention to the warning labels on all of the materials you are handling, be vigilant about painting in a well-ventilated area, wear coveralls while working, and never eat or drink where you work.But even with these precautions, I suggest that you consider switching to acrylic paints or watercolors. My concern is the possible presence of lead in your materials. Lead exposure can not only affect the nervous system of your developing baby, but it can also contribute to miscarriage, premature birth, failure to thrive and developmental delay. Your materials also may contain dangerous additives and solvents.Health Hazards Manual for Artists, by Michael McCann, Ph.D. (The Lyons Press, 1990), is an excellent resource for during and after pregnancy. The March of Dimes (www.marchofdimes.com) also offers information about environmental factors that could affect your pregnancy.