Painting Hazards: How to select the right respirator and PPE

PPE selection information and hazard education resources for you and your industrial painting team.

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PPE for spray painting | Respirator requirements

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    Preparation Work

    Paint, rust, scale removal, deburring, filing and sanding to smooth finish will expose workers to fine particles and mists. The cleaning and degreasing process can also require respiratory protection. 3M disposable respirators are the ideal solution in combination with 3M Protective Eyewear.

  • graphic representation of solvent-based paint
    Water & Solvent-based paints

    Solvent-based paints often contain a higher level of solvents or other reactive chemicals, requiring an air-purifying respirator that can specifically provide respiratory protection from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and specific chemicals. Supplied air respirators may be more suitable (or mandated) for certain tasks or exposures. Some water-based paints or where chemical exposures are less than occupational exposure limit, filtering facepiece respirators may be suitable, however for most tasks a reusable respirator will be sufficient.

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    Industrial Powder Coatings

    Particulates in handling, mixing and spraying powder coating materials present a respiratory hazard. These coatings typically have minimal or no VOCs. Fire or explosion are possible hazards requiring a respirator meeting intrinsically safe standards.

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    Spray equipment can be cleaned after use with solvents which may require respiratory protection. Powder coat materials also present respiratory hazards during clean up. Solvents and powder coats are a potential source of fire and explosion.

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The Benefits of a Powered Air Respirator | Painting in many applications

  • worker in coveralls wearing 3M Versaflo TR-800 PAPR
    • Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR) are a suitable selection for many painting applications and when using a variety of paint types. Benefits of a PAPR include:

      • Option for intrinsically safe components when flammability is a factor
      • Allows use by wearers who have limited amounts of facial hair, when loose-fitting painter's hoods or helmets are used
      • Fit test is not required, when loose-fitting headgear is used
      • Flexible configurations
      • Cartridge options to meet the protection factor requirements when exposured to Isocynates and other hazards
      • Download the learning guide to select the appropriate respirator for your application. Once you have clicked the right one for you. Request a Demo.



Other industrial spray painting PPE

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    Spray paint goggles

    Maintain visibility and help prevent exposure to paint particles with safety goggles. 3M goggles have optional features, including:

    • Scotchgard anti-fog and anti-scratch coating
    • Adjustable headbands
  • Image of 3M™ Disposable Protective Coverall 4540+
    Coveralls for spray painting

    When you are dealing with liquid splashes or sprays and hazardous particles – you may need full body coverage and protection. 3M offers a variety of coveralls with breathable fabrics and comfortable features.

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    Paint-repelling full-body harness

    When your industrial painting project has you working at height, look for a full-body harness with webbing material that can repel paint particles. Select 3M full-body harnesses come with repel-webbing technology to help maintain the cleanliness of your equipment.

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Training your team | Workplace safety information for industrial painting

Find some of our most popular resources to help you train your team.

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    PPE for various hazards

    From airborne hazards to painting at heights, we have PPE to keep you protected all over. This infographic will outline the variety of PPE available to support you and your painting application needs.

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    Learning guide: PPE for industrial painting

    We've created this guide to help you learn more about common painting hazards, injuries and control measures you can take to help provide a safer workplace.

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    Hazard Awareness Bulletins: Learn More

    Download a series of hazard bulletins, including Isocyanates, organic solvents and powder coats.

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    On-site safety training

    Review what trainings are available to help your employees protect themselves during the painting process.

Webinar: Workplace Safety for Painting

  • worker at heights spray painting

    Register: Spray Painting & Powder Coating: Know your hazards

    • Access this free, on-demand webinar to watch at your own convenience. In this webinar, we explore the hazards of painting and coating, the importance of comfort and ease of use of your PPE. We also demonstrate how innovation is addressing some of the most common issues related to the hazards:

      • Basic hazards associated with painting and coating
      • Health impacts of solvents, Isocyanates and other chemicals
      • Users of PPE and their needs
      • Controlling the hazard with the latest generation of integrated PPE