Domonick Zanarini

Project title: Glove Efficacy in Collision Repair Shops Using Isocyanate and Solvent Based Paints: A Field Study

Degree: MS | Program: Occupational & Environmental Exposure Sciences (OEES) - no longer offered | Project type: Thesis/Dissertation
Completed in: 2011 | Faculty advisor: Michael G. Yost


Objective: Spray painting of vehicle parts in the automotive repair industry exposes painters to a variety of chemical hazards including isocyanates and solvents. Dermal exposures to isocyanates may sensitize painters to asthma, and exposures to solvents my irritate the skin and lead to contact dermatitis. Evaluating the performance of gloves during spray painting is important to determine the effectiveness of gloves to these complex chemical mixtures.

Methods: 15 spray painters at 12 collision repair shops were enrolled to participate in a personnel protective equipment evaluation study that looked at breakthrough of isocyanates and solvents through gloves using PERMEA-TEC sensors during spray painting tasks. Solvents were analyzed using an organic screening GC method a the Environmental Health Lab at the University of Washington. Statistical approaches were used to quantify unique solvent mixtures coming from different shops. Solvent mixture scores were used to determine if paint time, contact time, and glove thickness influenced paint breakthrough across glove barriers.

Results: Isocyanate breakthrough was not detected during the study. Multivariate analyses reported most variance in solvent breakthrough was explained by differences in shops. Paint time was found to correlate positively with solvent mixture loading through gloves in linear regression models, however results were inconclusive in determining whether contact time or glove thickness affected solvent breakthrough loading.

Conclusion: Daily shift total solvent breakthrough ranged from ~2 mg to 2.5 mg of total solvents. All shops used nitrile gloves of varying thickness, suggesting this type of glove is protective to the solvent range reported. Future work should explore effect of glove change out practices in determining solvent breakthrough. New methods need to be developed to detect isocyanate breakthrough across gloves.