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Book on Wood Finishing

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Continued from page 23) machine-a distance of 2 feet from the wall to be painted-scatters in every direction the poisonous pigments and noxious fumes found in paint materials, in amounts far in excess of the hand method, and, in a concentration far above the point which human beings can stand without serious damage to their health.

2. In the SPRAYING OF SMALL OBJECTS, enclosed cabinets are required and these must be equipped with powerful exhausts to carry off all spray and fumes.

3. In HOUSE PAINTING particularly, no such protective device is possible. In painting the outside of a building the operator is at the mercy of the wind which at any moment may blow in his direction, driving the poisonous spray directly into his face. The fact that work may be conducted in the open air is no protection to the worker. It stands to reason that exterior painting cannot be limited to calm, clear days when the spray can flow off into the atmosphere.

4. For exterior PAINTING work the evidence against the machine proves it to be a disastrous innovation. It is, of course, impossible to put a room or a worker in a cabinet equipped with motion exhaust.

5. For the SPRAYING of LARGE OBJECTS OF ANY DESCRIPTION, it has been suggested that a room should be set aside and equipped with ventilators and exhausts. The Room Booth plan calls for an exhaustive investigation on the part of sanitary engineers and expert Industrial Hygienists to determine the efficiency of this proposed safeguard.

6. Ship Painting:

Spray painting in small, confined cabins and holds of vessels, particularly the painting of lower decks where there is a minimum of ventilation, is extra-hazardous. 7. Sanitary Safeguards:

Adequate sanitary safeguards should include provision of:

1. Adequate washing facilities.

2. Fresh, pure drinking water and sanitary drinking cups.

3. Toilets, sanitary and clean. 4. Clean places to eat lunch.

5. Clean rags and dropcloths washed weekly.

6. Prohibition of dry sweeping.

7. First aid kit for emergency purposes. 8. Provision of a room away from painting operations in which to hang street clothes, as well as the provisions mentioned in the orders, viz., "protective clothing furnished and kept clean by the employers""a complete change being furnished at least once a week or oftener if necessary." 8. Rest Periods:

As a minimum protection against the poisonous fumes of turpentine, benzol, benzine, gasoline and naptha on any painting

job, windows should be kept open during all painting operations to insure free, steady current of air. Special precautions should be taken to secure ventilation on all painting work where quick drying paints are used. Particularly in all confined, close spaces where ventilation is difficult, painters should be permitted to leave work a minimum of 10 minutes each hour to go to a window for air to counteract the effect of suffocating fumes.

9. Labelling of Paint Materials to Show Poisonous Contents:

Most state laws require that all poisonous materials which might be taken internally must bear a label marked "POISON." This is considered a necessary precaution and warning against accidental death.

Here is a glaring inconsistency-Painters are regularly exposed for eight hours a day to highly dangerous poisons without even the minor protection of a label to show the nature and composition of the materials they are using. Pending the enactment of a labeling law in Wisconsin, all receptacles in which paints are kept, sold or sent to a painting job, should be clearly labeled to show:

a. All materials used in the paint mixture, both pigment and vehicle.

b. Name and address of paint manufacturer or dealer.

10. Hand Mixing of Lead Paints:

All hand-mixing of DRY WHITE LEAD and other lead paints, any process "involving the mixing, crushing, sifting, grinding in oil or any other manipulation of lead color causing dust on the job should be prohibited. White lead, sulphate of lead or products containing these pigments should only be given the worker in the form of paste of ready mixed paints.

The continued use of the spray painting machine is a serious obstocle put in the way of health and life of house painters, ship painters and painters of all large objects of any description. Where human life is at stake, the matter of reducing the cost of production and such monetary considerations have no place.

In the painting trade, which ranks as one of our most hazardous industries, every effort must be made to eliminate existing dangers and prevent the introduction of new methods which intensify the risk. It has been amply demonstrated that all open spraying increases the hazards of the industry and the further use of the spray painting machine should be prohibited.

Quoting Dr. Emery R. Hayhurst: "It is my concluding opinion that until equipment has been perfected and accepted as practicable which will prevent the worker from breathing the toxic products used in or as the result of his operation, any apparatus or device which extends the possibilities of poisoning should be prohibited."

In view of the absence of health regulations in the painting industry, we recom

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mend that the Wisconsin Industrial Commission take the initiative in working out adequate health standards for safeguarding workers in all sections of the painting trade, thereby setting an example for the entire country.

Respectfully submitted,


Business Agent.


Brief prepared by the Workers' Health Bureau, 799 Broadway, New York City, December 12, 1923.

The Ohio State University
Columbus, Nov. 16.

Workers' Health Bureau,
Broadway and Eleventh Streets,
New York City.

In re Wisconsin Industrial Committee REPORT COVERING OPEN SPRAYING will say that I have carefully examined four typewritten pages laying down the code of procedure for operating this type of equipment in connection with the pressure system and gravity system including the individual protection of the worker. I have also examined the REPORT OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON SPRAY TESTS composing eight typewritten pages, dated as of August 31, 1923, which includes the potocols of tests No. 1, 2, 3, A-B-C, the Results of Chemical Analysis given in tabular form, and the summary of the tests which compare the spray operation with the brush operation of painting and suggest certain means of procedure for the protection of the workers. My opinions are as follows:

(1) If the pressure or gravtiy equipment produces any atomization at all, it should be considered as having the same hazards even though in lesser degree than the true atomizer types of equipment.

(2) It is not clear in my mind whether distinction has been made in the tentative code between "flow-on" equipment and "spray equipment." Naturally, the latter is by far the more dangerous of the two types of equipment.

The means of personal protection of the operator in regard to clothing and exposed parts, would seem sufficient to warrant giving them a trial.

(3) Inasmuch as the poisons involved usually act immediately as well as showing delayed effects, a medical examination once each six months would be little better than no efforts in this direction at all.

(4) In regard to the report of the SubCommittee on Spray Tests, it is my opinion that the Palmer dust collector is not adaptable in any way whatever for the estimation of moist particles of any kind. Hence, all of the tests made by such means may be considered too unreliable to warrant giving any credence whatever to reported findings.

In this connection the simple methods devised by N. C. Sharpe, of the University of Toronto, by which glass plates were placed in different positions in respect to the nozzle of the spray gun in order to determine the distance and amount of spray deposit upon them would appear to be far superior as a method for estimating the amount of the spray which might reach the nose or mouth of the operator while so engaged.

(5) The literature on industrial toxicology is replete with chronic, sub-acute, acute and fatal cases of poisoning from the pigments, vehicles and quick-dryers commonly used in paints which are adaptable to the spray method of application. It is absolutely necessary for the health of the operator that he be relieved from breathing all atmospheres containing the products in either gaseous or vapor (i. e., fume) forms of such substances as gasoline, other volatile petroleum products, benzol, wood alcohol, tetralin, aniline, turpentine, fusel oil and similar substances. The hazard is far greater where such substances occur as atomized liquid particles in the air, as in the case of spraying, than when they occur simply as gas, since each liquid particle is a new unit for vaporizing into a gas. Deaths have occured from breathing the vaporizable products alone of benzol, aniline and wood alcohol, while permanent disability involving especially the nervous system has occurred from breathing such simple substances as gasoline vapors. The other substances mentioned may be considered to occupy an intermediate position in respect to relative harmfulness. Within the past four months the Ohio Industrial Commission has, to my knowledge, allowed total disability in several cases for chronic gasoline poisoning due to the inhaling of fumes of gasoline during employment. A principal feature of these cases has been prolonged loss of memory even where physical recovery took place.

(6) The attempt to protect the operator by having him wear a respirator of a type in which the particles may be caught upon a sponge or gauze or similar device through which he must also obtain his air for breathing is highly dangerous since the particles continue to vaporize within the respirator and their products are inhaled in gaseous form in a manner similar to their direct lodgment in the nose.

(7) The only known safe method of protecting an operator from breathing the dangerous products of continually volatizing poisonous substances, both while in the state of vapor particles or in gaseous form, is to separate the breathing atmosphere from that containing the poisonous elements. It is impossible to separate one gas from another, that is, to separate these poisonous gases from the air itself by the use of a so-called respirator, which is intended primarily to remove dust or solid particulate matter, and none of which, by actual experiment, succeed in removing but a small part of the

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