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Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1995 Oct;56(10):1023-32.

Control of paint overspray in autobody repair shops.

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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA.


Commercially available controls for reducing worker exposure to paint overspray were evaluated in six autobody shops and a spray-painting equipment manufacturer's test facility. Engineering control measures included spray-painting booths, vehicle preparation stations, and spray-painting guns. The controls were evaluated by measuring particulate overspray concentrations in the worker's breathing zone, visualizing the airflow in spray-painting booths and vehicle preparation stations, and measuring airflow volumes and velocities. In addition, respirator usage observations were collected at five of the autobody repair shops, and quantitative fit tests were conducted on existing respirators at three shops. Several conclusions were drawn from this study. Downdraft spray-painting booths provide lower particulate overspray concentrations measured on the worker than crossdraft and semidowndraft spray-painting booths. In the latter two booths, the spray-painting gun can disperse as much as half the paint overspray into the incoming fresh air, increasing worker overspray exposure. Vehicle preparation stations have no walls to contain the overspray and, commonly, a single exhaust fan removes air from the painting area. Airflow patterns suggest that these do not control the paint overspray. Switching from a conventional spray-painting gun to a high-volume low pressure spray-painting gun reduced the particulate overspray concentration by a factor of 2 at a manufacturer's test facility. However, this change did not significantly affect solvent concentrations. Finally, respirator usage in five of the six shops studied was inappropriate. Respirators were poorly maintained and/or did not fit the workers, perhaps due to the absence of a formal respirator program.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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