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Government issues safety poster on 2-pack paints

A new leaflet from the Department for Work and Pensions, which folds out so it can be used as a poster for display, provides practical advice aimed at preventing workers getting asthma from isocyanate chemicals in 2-pack paints used in bodyshops.

“Safety in motor vehicle repair: Working with 2-pack isocyanate paints” has been launched by Department for Work and Pensions Minister Des Browne, MP. He opened a workshop focusing on the cause, impact and prevention of occupational asthma, to mark European Week for Safety and Health at Work's Dangerous Substances campaign.

HSE's Motor Vehicle Repair (MVR) Health and Safety Forum, which has representatives from the motor vehicle industry and trade unions, decided on the clear format which simply sets out the risks to workers' health and the steps needed to protect them. Dr John Powell, Head of the National Engineering Group in HSE's Manufacturing Sector and Chair of the MVR Forum said: "Exposure to isocyanates can cause long- term and life-threatening illnesses. Isocyanates are the number one cause of occupational asthma. which affects 7,000 people each year in Britain.

"Spraying 2-pack isocyanate paints is one of the main causes of occupational asthma. It can also trigger off asthma in customers visiting garages or bodyshops and it makes sense for garage owners to deal with the problem up front.

The leaflet complements the practical guidance available on control of isocyanates available from the COSHH Essentials website, Free Copies of Safety in motor vehicle repair: Working with 2-pack isocyanate paints (INDG 388) can be ordered free of charge online at or are available from HSE Books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 2WA, tel: 01787-881165 or fax: 01787-313995).

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