Bodyshop Myths Debunked

  1. My bodyshop uses water-based paints that are free of isocyanates. Isocyanates are soon to be banned anyway.

You can be sure that almost every bodyshop uses paints that contain isocyanates. Although the sale of some paints has been restricted by a Paints Directive, the rumours of isocyanates being banned is untrue. They will still be used in some base coats, water-based paints, UV-cured coatings and primers. Just because it says water-based does not mean it’s free of isocyanates.

  1. Modern paint guns don’t create mist like the older ones and are much safer

Whilst it is true that modern guns are more efficient, by up to 65%, that is assuming that the device is being used as per manufacturer’s instructions. They are still not completely safe.

  1. I won’t be affected as I wear a mask

Wearing respiratory protection is vital when using paints contain isocyanates. However, there are some points to remember. It must be the correct type of mask, such as an air-fed breathing apparatus for isocyanates. It must be used at all times when exposure could occur, not just when the actual spraying is taking place.

  1. If I work in a booth, the air will be clear

When you’re in the safety of a purpose-built spray booth and air is being filtered, it’s easy to assume that the air is totally clear. However, overspray isn’t cleared immediately and can typically take up to 5 minutes to clear. That is why it is essential to keep your mask on for a good few minutes after finishing spraying. For Spray booth filters and other parts, visit

If using a spray room and not a both, these take even longer to clear – up to 45 minutes. Studies have shown that spray rooms contain levels of isocyanate up to 300 times the workplace exposure limit.

  1. I can use a spray booth or spray room as soon as the mist has gone

Did you know that 10% of asthma sufferers who work in a bodyshop are not working as paint sprayers? This means exposure is still occurring all over the workplace environment. This could be happening due to entry to a booth or spray room before the invisible, fine particles of mist have cleared properly.

  1. It’s just a touch-up, I can do that in the workshop

As stated above, with 1 in 10 asthma sufferers in the workshop not being a sprayer, it means exposure is occurring outside the spray room or booth. Don’t be tempted to spray anywhere other than in a controlled environment like a booth to avoid the risk of endangering the health of other workers in the workshop.

  1. Asthma can’t be that serious, most kids have it nowadays

Never underestimate the impact of asthma, it is a life-altering and life-threatening condition. Asthma caused by working with isocyanates means permanent lung damage and never being able to work with isocyanate products again which will most likely mean losing your job.