Vehicle spray painter - common causes of asthma
Isocyanate (typically in 2-pack paints) is the most common cause of occupational asthma. It also causes dermatitis.
It affects workers spraying 2-pack (2K) isocyanate paints in motor vehicle repair and in motor vehicle repair.
See COSHH essentials for paint spraying in motor vehicle repair for detailed advice on control.
- Spraying produces a lot of invisible mist. Never spray outside the booth.
- Your booth takes time to clear of mist so measure the clearance time and make sure everyone knows it.
- HSG276 Safely managing spray booths and rooms provides more information
- Always wear air-fed breathing apparatus (BA) while spray mist is present.
- Sprayers should not lift their visor directly after spraying.
- You need regular health surveillance.
- ‘Safety in motor vehicle repair - Working with isocyanate paints’ provides more information on good practice.
Reduce disease - reduce exposure to isocyanate mist
You breathe isocyanate mist when you raise your BA visor to check the paint film quality, or prime or wash out the gun by spraying without wearing BA.
Check that the air-fed BA and working procedures are effective enough by measuring your exposure using biological monitoring.
Maintain the booth and BA regularly and keep unprotected persons out of the spraying areas.
More information for employers
You can find more guidance and information on the Asthma publications pages. These also contain information on isocyanate use in other sectors.
Guidance specific to body shop owners is also available.
These case studies are all real incidents with real and often serious long-term consequences for the people involved.