Protecting Eyes, Nose, and Lungs from Paint

When painting for any job, it is important to know the dangers of the materials you are using. Paints, primers, sealants, and solvents have hazardous materials that have potential to be extremely dangerous to personal health and the environment. Team PPC runs through several safety procedures to make sure we are performing our safest on every job. We’d like to pass on some safety tips for protecting yourself when painting. Specifically, protecting your eyes, nose, and lungs when working with paint and other coatings.

In order to protect your eyes, nose, and lungs from the hazardous fumes that arise from paint, there are extensive safety guidelines that should be followed. Here is a brief look at some of the things you can do to protect yourself. This is not a comprehensive list, rather a glimpse of the most important elements of painting safely.

  • MSDS:
    An MSDS is a Material Safety Data Sheet. These are prepared by the manufacturer of the hazardous material and contain all of the information you need to know about the chemicals being worked with. This sheet explains how to store, dispose of, treat, and use the material. This sheet also lays out dangers, emergency procedures, and other potential hazards related to the material. It is important to read up on the material being used, so all safety dangers are completely understood and prevented.
  • Spray Booth: A spray booth is useful when any type of spray paint or airbrush is being used. The booth removes vapors from the air, so the painters are not breathing in or expelling harmful vapors into the air. In order for the spray booth to be used as a safety tool, the painter must keep filters fresh, clean, and appropriate. With dirty or worn out filters, a spray booth is next to useless regarding its safety measures. There are also booths that filter dust and paint particles out of the air.
  • Safety Glasses: When painting, it is very easy to get harmful chemicals into the painter’s eye. It is vital to wear properly-fitting safety glasses at all times.
  • penington paintingRespirators: When painting, it is crucial a respirator is worn at all times. Respirators directly filter out the harmful chemicals in the material the painter is using. In order for a respirator to function at maximum safety, the painter must make sure they’re using the correct respirator for the chemicals being used. Different respirators filter out certain hazards better than others. The MSDS on the product will inform as to what needs to be filtered out. As with spray booths, respirator filters should be kept changed, clean, and appropriate to the material. Another important note about respirators is that it is imperative they fit the painter well. A respirator that does not fit the painter well is ineffective on the job.
  • Hearing protection: On big painting jobs, it is essential to remember protecting hearing when considering the safety precautions for the project. The tools being used on projects can be excessively loud, such as air compressor tools. When dealing with tools that are filtering the air, it is important to protect hearing with high-quality ear plugs.

It is paramount to Team PPC that everyone remains safe on the project site at all times. By taking these safety tips into practice, it is our hope that you will be that much closer to performing at the safety standards we achieve on our jobs.

Further Reading:

Respirator Information

Hazards of Solvents

How to Test Your Paint Booth Filter