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Law: Paint spraying myths – Health and Safety Guidance

HSE have published ten ‘myths’ about paint spraying.

Vehicle paint sprayers are 80 times more likely to develop asthma that the average worker.

One in ten bodyshop workers who get asthma are not paint sprayers.

Among the myths are:

- “we use water based/UV cured paints which are isocyanate free”

In fact almost all bodyshops use isocyanate paints. New Regulations mean that only certain paints will be legal to use from January 2008.

It is a myth that all isocyanate containing paints will be banned.

- “It won’t affect me I wear a mask”

Filtering face masks are not satisfactory for isocyanate spraying – only air fed breathing apparatus is acceptable.

In addition the mask should not be removed as soon as spraying is finished since there are still large quantities of paint mist in the air.

- “It’s only a touch up job. I can do that in the workshop”

As stated above, one in ten bodyshop workers who get asthma are not sprayers.

They may inhale the spray perhaps because a spray booth is already in use or it’s just a short touch up job.

The other myths identified are:

- “Modern guns don’t mist like the old ones so are much safer”.
- “I work in a booth so the air is kept clear”.
- “I can go in the booth/spray room as soon as the mist has cleared”.
- “Isocyanate cause cancer but so does everything else these days”.
- “Asthma isn’t serious – most kids have got it these days”.
- “The biggest problem is absorption through the skin but I wear gloves and an overall”.
- “I’ve got nothing to worry about, I’ve had my yearly check-up and it’s all clear”.

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