Exposure to paint fumes causes damaging health effects to babies and young children, according to SymptomFind. Because infants and children are more susceptible to the damaging effects resulting from exposure to paint fumes, SymptomFind warns that should not be exposed to paint fumes if possible.

Volatile organic compounds, also known as VOCs, are byproducts of wet and solid compounds found in paint, which are released into the atmosphere when paint is applied, according to SymptomFind. The highest concentration is found in freshly wet paint. Volitile organic compounds release concentrated, harmful fumes; therefore, it is important to keep the area that is being painted ventilated.

Paint fume exposure causes a wide variety of negative health effects, both short-term and long-term, according to SymptomFind. Short-term symptoms include headaches, nausea and dizziness. Long-term effects can result in cancer, liver damage and asthma, as stated by SymptomFind. According to Environmental Health News, children are at risk of developing asthma when exposed to water-based paint fumes. One culprit, according to Environmental Health News, is found in the measurement of compounds found in paint known as PGEs, which are associated with asthma. The compounds, which are airborne, can remain in the home for months or years, according to Environmental Health News.