Health & Safety
Documentation about the health & safety aspects of thermosetting powders covering areas such as hazards, explosion, toxicity etc.
The principle hazards which may be involved in the application of powder are explosion and toxicity.
A powder explosion can occur under the following conditions:
- When the concentration of powder in the air is above the lowest level capable of being exploded. All relevant information currently available coating powder gives 10 grams per cubic metre.
- A source ignition of sufficient energy is present. This could be a hot surface, a flame, an electrical spark, or electrostatic discharge.
Because it is difficult to totally eliminate all sources of ignition, most reliance should be placed on keeping the concentration of powder in the application booth below 10 grams per cubic metre.
Powder coating normally supplied i.e. Epoxy, epoxy-polyester and polyester, all show a low order of systemic toxicity. Systemically its toxicity is relatively low. No Thermaset products contain any chrome or cadmium pigments
Coating powders are generally less likely to cause dermatitis than liquid coatings but can still affect the skin. Persons who develop a continued reaction should not work with powder.
The disposal of quantities of coating powder should be undertaken by reference to the local authority under the terms of the “Disposal of Poisonous Waste Act 1972”.
Industrial hygiene and good working practice
The standard of housekeeping and spray booth air extraction performance should be such that powder dos not escape into the workroom or accumulate in the booth.
- Floors and fittings should be kept clean with a suitable vacuum cleaner.
- Ensure operators are properly earthed.
- Do not use insulating gloves or footwear.
- Antistatic footwear to EN 61340-5-1 is available.
- In case of fire, carbon dioxide extinguishers should NOT be used.
- To prevent inhalation of airborne powder, face masks capable of removing respirable dust should be worn.
- Persons with chronic respiratory complaints should not work with powder.
- Use only soap and water, never organic solvents, to cleanse the skin of powder.
- Compressed air should never be used to remove powder from the hands or clothing.
Code of safe practice published by the paint makers association of Great Britain “Application of Powder Coatings by Electrostatic Spraying”. Copies are available on request.
H&S at work booklet 22, dust explosions in factories
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