Paints and Wallcoverings

Long-term exposure to paint can have serious health consequences. The International Agency for Research on Cancer found carcinogenicity to be an occupational exposure for painters. The National Institutes of Health found that professional painters have a significantly higher risk for lung cancer, bladder cancer, and mesothelioma. Studies also show an increased likelihood of childhood leukemia associated with maternal paint exposure. Because of the diversity of chemicals found in paint, these studies were unable to identify any specific carcinogen that directly contributes to the development of these cancers.

Latex Paints

Hazards: minerals: lung cancer; silicosis; biocides: PBT; biocide resistance; VOCs: cancer; gene damage; asthma trigger; skin and eye irritant; NPEs: PBT; endocrine disruptor.

Source: silica; biocides; propylene glycol and glycol ethers; NPEs (nonylphenol ethoxylates).

Recommended Protection: industrial respirator; eye protection; gloves; protective clothing; ventilation.

Oil-Based Paints

Hazards: solvents: cancer and liver toxicity; respiratory irritation; gene mutation; asthma trigger; skin and eye irritant; NPEs: PBT; endocrine disruptor.

Source: solvents; NPEs (nonylphenol ethoxylates).

Recommended Protection: industrial respirator; eye protection; gloves; protective clothing; ventilation.

Paint Prep

Hazards: minerals: lung cancer; mesothelioma; asbestosis; silicosis; paint stripper: cancer and liver toxicity; respiratory irritation; gene mutation; asthma trigger; skin and eye irritant.

Source: asbestos; solvents.

Recommended Protection: industrial respirator; eye protection; gloves; protective clothing; ventilation.

Wallcoverings

Hazards: phthalates: cancer; asthma trigger; VOCs: cancer; gene damage; asthma trigger; skin and eye irritant; FRs: PBT; endocrine disruptor.

Source: phthalates; formaldehyde and vinyl chloride; halogenated flame retardants.

Recommended Protection: industrial respirator; eye protection; gloves; protective clothing; ventilation.

Wall Covering Adhesives

Hazards: biocides: PBT; endocrine disruptor; asthma trigger; VOCs: cancer; gene damage; asthma trigger; skin and eye irritant.

Source: biocides; formaldehyde and vinyl chloride.

Recommended Protection: industrial respirator; eye protection; gloves; protective clothing; ventilation.

PBT = Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxic chemical, meaning it won’t break down in the environment and builds up in quantity along the food chain.