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Working Safely With Paint Pigment


Paint pigment is an incredibly sophisticated and highly engineered product that is used to do more than just ‘colourise’. An expert paint and chemicals manufacturer will have a breadth of pigment specifications, which are tailored to the various applications for which they are expected be used.


Paint pigment innovation has continued unabated and customers are able to choose one paint that offers all of the properties they require.


In this article we break down some best practices that must be followed when working with paint pigment. After all, in solid form, pigment particles can become easily airborne and pose a health risk as well as a risk of contamination.


Why does working safely with paint pigment receive such attention? Pigments, depending on their composition may comprise potentially toxic levels of lead, cobalt, manganese and others. These chemicals can make the pigment toxic to work with and adequate protection covering the mouth and eyes is advisable.


Dust masks are a good source of protection if you are working with paint pigment in a relatively open space. These should filter over 90 per cent of the air entering your nose, but their greatest limitation is how they have been worn. A dusk mask with an improper seal will allow paint pigment particles to seep into your airflow.


A step above dust masks are respirators. These are shaped much more closely to fit your face. It means the seal from paint pigment is far more complete. Moreover, respirators are also far more effective at filtering out paint pigment particles. Before you purchase make sure you know that the respirator is rated at filtering out the size of particles you will be working with. Air respirators too come in various facial masks configurations. Some include eye protection, which is of great benefit as it provides very good protection from the paint pigment inconveniencing or injuring one’s eye.


Skin contact is another source of concern, particularly with cadmium and titanium based paint pigment. Such particles can be absorbed through the skin or may linger long enough that they are entertained via the mouth, eyes or nose. Make sure to take off any paint accumulated on your skin at the earliest. Prolonged contact with paint pigment can have adverse consequences.