CHOOSING THE RIGHT AUTOMOTIVE PAINT SUIT
Professional automotive painters understand that they have the potential to expose themselves (and property) to harmful chemicals. The chemicals and fumes that go into automotive paint have the potential to cause serious health effects.
Auto painters need to make sure that they protect themselves against a wide range of paint hazards with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and automotive spray paint suits.
The Risks of Applying Automotive Paint
The job of an automotive paint suit is twofold. First, the worker needs to be comfortable enough to do their job well while wearing the coverall. Secondly, the suit needs to protect the worker against the dangers associated with automotive paint. Some of the workplace hazards that might be encountered while applying automotive paint include:
Airborne Sanding Particles: Paint finishing techniques often use abrasive sanders as well as grinders to provide a smooth surface to the body of the vehicle. These sanders can release microscopic particles of rust and silica into the air. Without proper ventilation, the worker can inhale these particles, leading to severe lung damage such as emphysema. This is why respirators are a critical measure for personal protection.
Toxic Paint Fumes: Another risk of auto paint includes inhaling toxic fumes such as isocyanates. These fumes can include toxic metals such as cadmium and chromium. Clear paint coats also contain toluene. These are all airborne chemicals that can cause serious respiratory issues, skin rashes, allergic reactions, vomiting, and organ failure. Workers must be protected against these chemicals.
Direct Chemical Contact: Should the worker make prolonged contact with the paint itself, the chemicals can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream. This can lead to dangerous reactions and health problems such as diffuse rashes, blisters, and even burns.
These are only a few of the risks associated with automotive paint. It is critical to find an automotive paint suit that provides adequate protection and allows the worker to carry out his or her job.
Comfort in the Automotive Paint Suit
Clearly, there are numerous hazards that come with applying automotive paint. While the suit needs to guard against these dangers, it also needs to offer the ability to carry out the paint job. Important factors to consider include:
Dexterity: The suit needs to provide the worker with the dexterity to apply the automotive paint appropriately. Fine adjustments are needed when using automotive paint to ensure that the finished product meets the expectations of the consumer. The suit needs to provide enough dexterity for this to happen.
Lower Body Flexibility: While many people think about painting with their hands, lower body flexibility is going to be just as important. There is a lot of bending, squatting, and kneeling that comes with applying automotive paint. The suit needs to provide plenty of room to easily move the lower limbs without rip-outs or tears.
Breathability: The suit should also provide adequate ventilation. Many of these protective suits are heavy. As a result, people can quickly overheat while wearing them. To prevent this from happening, the suit still needs to be breathable. This will prevent workers from becoming fatigued and dehydrated.
The comfort and mobility of the suit are important because they affect the ability of the automotive paint specialist to do the job. Of course, comfort still needs to be balanced against the protective abilities of the suit. What factors will play a role in the protective abilities of a disposable paint suit?
Finding a Protective Paint Suit
There are several protective factors that people need to consider when looking for a disposable paint suit that is compliant with OSHA regulations. Some of these include:
Guards Against Liquids and Particulates: The suit also needs to guard against both liquids and particulates. Paint spray is classified as a particulate, and some forms of protection will guard against one but not the other. Make sure to find an automotive coverall that will provide adequate protection against both.
Vapor Escape: Those looking for a suit need to make sure that it allows vapors to escape from the suit. Sometimes, the suits are so thick that they trap vapors inside of the suit. This can cause the person to overheat and might even trap dangerous fumes that enter the suit.
Resistance Testing: Finally, it is also important to find a suit that has passed all required resistance testing. Automotive paint suits should be tested against a variety of chemicals including motor oil, mineral oil, bleach, hydraulic jack oil, isocyanate-based paint hardener, and even blood. These are all potentially dangerous liquids and the suit should protect the wearer against all of them.
Finding a suit that meets all these requirements is the first step in protecting oneself against the dangerous chemicals contained in automotive paint. Of course, these chemicals are incredibly abrasive and the suit needs to be durable for prolonged wear.
How to Select the Best Automotive Paint Suit for Your Application
Applying automotive paint is not a quick task and the suit needs to stand up to all of the chemicals and particulates throughout the process. Some of the factors that need to be considered include:
Tear Resistant: The suit needs to be resistant to tears. Often, suits are made with elastic bands that help the suit bend without tearing.
Minimizing Seams: One of the most common locations that the suits will tear is at the seams. The fewer the seams, the less likely the suit will be to tear.
Minimal Absorption: Suits that are absorbent will eventually reach their limit and start to allow liquid to leak and penetrate the suit. Make sure that the suit repels chemicals instead of absorbing them.
The durability of the suit should not be overlooked. If the suit starts to degrade while the chemicals are still in use, any protection offered by the suit is lost. This exposes the wearer to potentially toxic chemicals.
Protect Yourself with the Right Disposable Paint Suit
Every job is going to be different, and these are only a few of the many factors that need to be considered. Those who are looking for a high-quality disposable paint suit should reach out to International Enviroguard today to learn more.
We offer long sleeve coveralls that help decrease the likelihood of skin exposure. We also offer automotive paint suits with an attached hood and boots and features that enhance mobility, safety, and comfort. We have you covered with automotive PPE for spray painting cars that offers liquid, particulate, and chemical protection.