Turpentine is often used as a solvent in plant-based paints. It is believed that turpentine is equally if not more toxic than white spirit (see Green Building Handbook. Volume 1 by Tom Woolley,Sam Kimmins, Paul Harrison and Rob Harrison. p.229). Is it toxic after paint application and for how long?

Updated: I believe that question can be divided on two simpler subproblems (it's worth to consider them together):

  • what is the speed of turpentine level reduction in regular environmental conditions? As function of time in analytical form or better graphical curve.

  • determination of the safe level of turpentine in room according to some authoritative standard. This level likely is disputable, so knowing the speed will help - maybe waiting some additional time (a couple of months) before starting to settle in the room will eliminate the risk completely.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Yes it's toxic, but the "how long" part depends on ambient conditions - temperature, humidity, ventilation, and so on. Eventually it goes away: standing in front of a van Gogh is hardly a danger. You might want to narrow the scope of your question - for instance, if you are inquiring about a certain amount within a confined space or the like. $\endgroup$ – Todd Minehardt Jun 17 '17 at 22:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thank you. humidity 40%; 25 C with opened windows. Painted walls of the room. 1) Is period from van Gogh was alive till present time sufficient for 100% elimination of Turpentine (when it's impossible to detect Turpentine) or for level when amount of Turpentine is negligible (recognized by some strict standard as safe for humans)? 2) What is the shortest period when the level of Turpentine in the paint of the walls under specified conditions is very close (say difference is <0.1% from the level in the very first days after paint application) to level in 1).i.e. when it becomes safe to live? $\endgroup$ – Myshkin Jun 18 '17 at 1:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.