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Recognizing Spray Paint Hazards - February 2017
Spray painting is an efficient and effective way to cover
large areas or irregular surfaces with even coats of primer, paint, sealers and
other coatings. When you are using spray paint, it is important to recognize and
guard against potential hazards.
Why it is Dangerous
Many paints, coatings, catalysts, sealers, hardeners and
solvents contain hazardous chemicals to which you could be exposed during
mixing, spraying, grinding and sanding tasks. Overexposure can cause nausea,
rash, asthma, dermatitis or even lung cancer. In addition, some coatings contain
flammable substances, which are released into the air when you use high-pressure
equipment. As they build up, these vapors can create an explosion hazard. To protect
yourself from these and other health hazards, study the following guidelines to
safe spray painting practices.
Ways to Protect Yourself
Before beginning a new task, consult the Safety Data Sheets
(SDS) for each product you will use. You will find information specific to that
chemical, including its hazards, appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE),
proper handling, transport, storage and disposal.
- Use a spray booth to avoid breathing in spray paint vapors
and debris. Regularly maintained and cleaned spray booths also provide maximum
protection against explosion hazards.
- Wear hearing protection when working with air-powered tools.
Extended exposure to loud noises can result in irreversible damage to your
- To protect your eyes, wear safety glasses and a dust mask or
respirator to protect against dust particles that form when using grinding and
- Wear a combination type HEPA air filter and organic vapor
respirator with breathing air lines to protect yourself from hazardous fumes.
- Wear lightweight, disposable coveralls, or launder reusable
coveralls separately from street clothes.
- Never eat, drink, smoke or apply cosmetics while working
with spray paint. Store food and other belongings in a separate area.
- Store paints and their solvents carefully in ventilated,
nonsmoking areas to prevent the possibility of ignition and explosion.
- Since you may have to hold full paint pots while spraying,
you must keep ergonomics in mind while on the job. Use balanced spray guns that
fit in your hand or use a hoist and dolly to move materials instead of holding
them. Take frequent, short breaks throughout the workday to stretch to avoid
unnecessary strains and sprains.
Keep Safety in Mind
Keeping safety in mind when working in and around spray
painting operations will help you avoid dangerous hazards and keep you injury-free
on the job. If you have any doubt about your safety, regarding spray painting or
any other issue, talk to your supervisor. Your safety is our top priority at.