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Blog - Slip Testing

Air Quality Testing Spray Booth

Posted 6th August 2014, Carl Strautins

Safe Environments were engaged to undertake Air Quality Testing to the in-line air-supply. The in-line air supply fed through to a hooded respiratory to ensure that workers are not exposed to significant amounts of contaminants in the air. The airborne contaminants that were present in this workplace was that from spray painting metal parts after fabrication.

in-line-fed-respirator

Some airborne chemicals that may be inhaled during spray painting include:

  • Isocyanates
  • Volatile Organic Compounds
  • Epichlorohydrin
  • Glycydol ethers
  • Bisphenol A

Some of the chemicals can cause a range of health effects. Isocyantes are particularly dangerous as it can induce occupational asthma, and in some cases people may become sensitised where a relatively small exposure can cause a serious reaction, even death in some circumstances.  Many others may cause central nervous system effects and organic compounds are generally considered a ototoxic agent, increasing the risk of noise induced hearing loss.

The required air breathing levels for in-line respirators powered by compressors, maintain a good clean air environment and reduces the risk of contaminates being inhaled. In this instance, the spray booth also requires to retain sufficient ventilation to ensure that the majority of the chemicals that are sprayed into the air are captured.

The air quality testing was conducted in line with AS/NZS 17015-2009 Selection, use and maintenance of respiratory protective equipment Appendix A: Requirements for air quality for supplied-air respirators. The air quality to the Australia Standards require that the in-line compressor have no more than 1 mg/m3 of oil mist. Carbon Monoxide and carbon dioxide shall be less than 11 and 800 parts per million (ppm), and oxygen levels are required to between 19.5 and 22 %.

Safe Environments have occupational hygienists in Sydney and Melbourne to assist in measuring the breathing air quality on a regular basis to ensure that workers are protected. Air monitoring investigations and assistance with biological monitoring can be conducted to characterise the exposure and ensure that people are not being exposure to dangerous levels.

Spray booth assessments can be undertaken to ensure that there is adequate ventilation to reduce exposure after spray-painting has occurred as well as noise and audiometric testing to protect workers from noise induced hearing loss.

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