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Bodyshop workers at risk of asthma

19th August 2010

Body shop workers have been urged to do more to protect themselves when paint spraying.

Asthma1

The warning comes from the Health and Safety Executive amid new research which suggests that some workers are still putting themselves at risk of developing asthma because they are not taking necessary precautions.

A report by the HSE into the use of two-pack paints containing isocyanates has identified that, while practices have improved greatly in recent years, there are still a number of areas of concern.

It estimates vehicle spray painters are 80 times more likely to develop occupational asthma than the average worker in the UK.

HSE researchers visited 30 motor vehicle repair bodyshops and conducted telephone surveys with 500 bodyshops.

They found some sprayers and managers remain unaware of the link between breathing in isocyanates contained within the invisible spray mist, and developing occupational asthma.

However, the study found that 85% of sprayers do wear air-fed breathing apparatus.

Louise Rice from the HSE said: “We're encouraged to see that body shop managers and sprayers are generally much more aware of the risks of isocyanates and what they need to do to protect themselves, but it is worrying that the message is still not getting through to all of them.

“Occupational asthma destroys careers and lives. We appreciate that sprayers work to tight deadlines and time pressures, but they should not be gambling with their health. We will use this research to ensure we're working with industry in the most effective way to help reduce the risk to workers.”

 

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