Cancer and construction: Painters
This page tells you about the risk to construction workers from painting.
What is it?
Painting involves a number of different tasks such as sanding, filling, painting or spraying. This can expose you to a number of substances including:
- construction dust
- other hazardous substances like pigments, resins and catalysts.
How significant the exposure is will depend upon what you are doing, how you are doing it and where you are working.
What is the risk to construction workers?
HSE commissioned research identified painters and decorators as a significant ‘at risk’ group within the construction industry. Approximately 250 people from this group of workers are thought to have died in 2005 from cancer of the:
It is important to note that this estimate is based on past exposures up to 50 years ago. Paint technology has changed significantly during that period - eg with the removal of lead pigments and a reduction in solvents levels. However, risks remain that you need to control.
Can you prevent this risk?
- Chromate primer paints
- Working with substances hazardous to health: A brief guide to COSHH
- Asbestos essentials: a task manual for building, maintenance and allied trades of non-licensed asbestos work