Protecting workers from the respiratory risks associated with the spray application of coatings is both a major challenge and an obligation. This article presents an introduction to the basic types of potential respiratory risks associated with spray painting and some common, effective procedures used for their evaluation and control. The greatest respiratory risks to painters generally come from solvent exposures. The health effects associated with exposure to solvents during spray application of coatings vary with the type of solvent and the dose and duration of exposure. Overexposure to solvents can affect the neurological, respiratory, renal, urinary, blood-forming, and dermal systems. Other components of coatings that are potentially hazardous to painters include metals and metallic compounds, isocyanates, and crystalline silica. Three approaches are recommended to evaluate levels of exposure: the use of historical data, objective data, or air monitoring or sampling. Once the respiratory hazards are identified and evaluated, the next step is for the employer to select and implement measures to reduce and maintain worker exposures below the applicable limit. One of the most common approaches to protecting workers against respiratory hazards is through a combination of engineering controls and personal protective equipment. An engineering control is a change in a process or the use of equipment at the job site to reduce a particular type of hazard. Personal protective equipment can include respirators, goggles, gloves, and other gear the can reduce a worker's exposure to a hazard. A sidebar outlines U.S. and European laws on occupational exposure limits and the use of respiratory protection.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Technology Publishing Company

    2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310
    Pittsburgh, PA  United States  15203
  • Authors:
    • O'Malley, D
    • Liang, S T
  • Publication Date: 2000-8


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00798402
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NSRP #0529
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 13 2000 12:00AM