Paint Sprayers! Are You Kept Safe?

  Posted February 27, 2019

Isocyanates and the symptoms of exposure.

There are many risks involved when working with Isocyanate paints (also known as 2K, two-pack or polyurethane paints). These are used in most motor vehicle repair and other industries where spraying of Isocyanate containing paints and lacquers takes place.

Almost all body shops use paints and lacquers containing Isocyanate hardener. It is also important to remember that ‘water-based’ paints may contain Isocyanates.

Breathing in Isocyanate paint mist can cause asthma and vehicle paint sprayers are about 80 times more likely to get asthma than the average worker. With continued exposure, the asthma can become permanent and severe. There is no cure. Breathing in the smallest amount of Isocyanate could then trigger an attack. Almost certainly, the sufferer would have to give up their current job.

Early symptoms include one or more of the following:

  • recurring blocked or runny nose
  • recurring sore or watering eyes
  • chest tightness, often occurring outside working hours
  • persistent cough
  • flu-like shivers
  • wheezing
  • breathlessness

The main source of Isocyanate exposure is paint spraying. It may also occur from cleaning the spray gun and from paint curing. But you can prevent exposure, and therefore the risk of asthma, by having:

  • properly designed spray booths and rooms
  • correct working procedures
  • appropriate personal protective equipment
  • regular checks to confirm that the controls are working properly.

Biological monitoring (BM) is used to assess exposure to a chemical by the measurement of a chemical or its breakdown products in blood, urine or breath.

BM can measure exactly how much of a chemical has entered a person’s body, rather than how much is in the environment they work in.

Controlling of exposure relies on engineering controls and protective equipment.

By using a BM service, you will know whether control measures like these are working and whether they are being used correctly.

Please contact us if you need any more information, or if you are looking for a quote.



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