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Breathe easier, work safer: many companies ignore respiratory protection. Here's what you must know now.
Doney-B; Greskevitch-M; Syamlal-G; Bang-KM; Groce-D
PWC 2008 Jan/Feb; 70(1):62-66
Every day, painting and wallcovering contractors are exposed to chemical substances and working environments that have potentially harmful, even fatal, health consequences. Just the risk of cancer is high. "Occupational exposure as a painter is carcinogenic [cancer-causing]," scientists with the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer reported in December. Studies have found higher levels of genetic damage in painters, as well as a "small but significant" increased risk of lung cancer and bladder cancer. Increased leukemia rates have also been found in the children of women who worked as painters before or during pregnancy. Not every exposure risk can be pinpointed or eliminated, so protective measures are critical. These may include engineering controls, such as better ventilation; administrative controls, such as shortened work periods; respiratory protection, or a combination of all three. Unfortunately, the evidence shows, employers and employees often ignore these measures, risking health and legal liability in the process.
Respirators; Respiratory-equipment; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Painters; Personal-protective-equipment; Work-environment; Worker-health; Construction-materials; Construction-workers; Occupational-exposure; Exposure-limits; Environmental-control; Air-purifying-respirators; Surveillance
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505
Journal Article; Trade
Issue of Publication
Painting & Wallcovering Contractor
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division