Pregnant women and newborns should avoid exposure to the fumes of solvents used in house renovations.Contact with such materials, which contain dyes and lacquers, could give rise to allergies in young children, said Norbert Englert, an environmental medical specialist at Germany's environmental agency.
Pregnant women should leave renovation work to their husbands or hired professionals and stay clear of the work area altogether.
'It is also wise not to renovate the house or apartment just before the baby is born,' suggests Englert. This ensures that the newborn will not be exposed to high concentration of the materials used at the outset of a project.
Using solvents without dyes is an alternative, but they also expose pregnant women and their unborn baby unnecessarily to things they should avoid, he said.