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Engineering Controls Database

Autobody Repair - Sanding

During auto body repair, sanding removes paint from surfaces and smoothes body panels repaired with body filling compounds. Airborne dust produced during these operations may contain hazardous substances, such as lead and chromium from surface coating and abrasives from sanding discs, that are harmful to the lungs and nervous system of workers. Dust concentrations may also exceed OSHA standards.
Chromium is a known human carcinogen. It can cause bronchial asthma and perforations of the nasal septum, and prolonged skin contact can lead to dermatitis and ulceration. Lead can damage the nervous and reproductive systems, cause kidney malfunction, and lead to digestive disorders. Short-term total dust exposures as high as 40 mg/m3 have been reported during the sanding of body-filling compounds. Such exposures can be excessive in relation the NIOSH recommended exposure limit (REL) for total dust, an eight hour TWA of 10 mg/m3.
Ventilated Sanders
Rotary/orbital and straight line/reciprocating sanders, equipped with high-velocity, low-volume (HVLV) local exhaust ventilation as part of the tool’s design, are recommended because they have been shown to be effective in reducing total dust concentrations during the sanding of body filling compounds.

HVLV sanders have either a straight-line or a rotary/orbital sanding motion. For orbital/rotary sanders, the sanding pad has a diameter of 10 to 20 cm. It usually between 6 and 12, 1-cm diameter holes located 1 to 3 cm from the outer edge. The sanding pad of a straight-line sander is usually 7 to 8 cm wide and 40 to 50 cm long. Along the length of the sanding pad are two rows of nine equally spaced 1-cm diameter holes. These holes are 1 cm from the edge of the sanding pad. Air is exhausted from ventilated sanders between 0.25 and 1.0 m3/min.

Use of ventilated sanders can be enhanced by making them convenient to use, for example, by installing retractable, flexible hosing attached to a central vacuum system. Although initial costs for this system including an air mover (e.g. vacuum), air cleaners, and duct work can be substantial, the system will help eliminate expensive repaints, shorten clean up time, and extend sandpaper life.

Workers prefer using these HVLV sanders and also reported their use results in a cleaner shop.

Autobody Sanding

Autobody Sanding
179-11-A; 179-12-A; 179-13-A; 179-14-A; 179-15-A; 179-16-A; 179-17-A; 179-18-A; 179-21-A;
autobody repair
autobody sanding
mechanical sanders
orbital sanders
rotary sanders
ventilated sanders
In tests smoothing out body filler compound on a car door, the average dust levels were 11 times lower when sanding with a ventilated sander than when sanding with an unventilated sander. When removing paint from the hood and sides of a car, sanding with the ventilated sander cut the dust levels in about half. There was little difference noticed when sanding on the top of a car.