How will I know if the chemicals are affecting me?

Certain signs and symptoms are related to chemical exposure and these are listed on the substance’s MSDS. Common signs of exposure to the chemicals in autobody repair work include:

  • Skin rashes
  • Irritation or burns to the eyes, nose, throat, or skin
  • Dizziness, headaches, lightheadedness, loss of coordination
  • Persistent cough, wheezing, tightness of the chest, chest pain, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
  • Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain

If you experience symptoms that you feel may be related to the chemicals you are handling, read the MSDS, follow all of the safety procedures found in it, and let your supervisor know. Make sure all your safety equipment, such as ventilation and PPE, is operating correctly.

Read more about effects of solvents…

Read more about effects of isocyanates…

Watch videos on Solvent Health Hazards, Isocyanate Health Hazards, and Sources of Information

For referral to our Occupational Medicine Clinic or a doctor, contact us.

Emergency Response

When working with chemicals in the shop, it’s possible you could be splashed. If this happens, immediately wash off the chemical.

  • Rinse chemical splashes to your eyes in an eyewash. Hold open your eyelids while flushing the eye. Get medical assistance after thoroughly rinsing your eyes and face.
  • If your clothing is splashed, remove it immediately, and rinse exposed skin using a safety shower or other water source. Get medical assistance if the exposed skin is irritated or burned.
  • Make sure you know the location of the nearest safety shower, eyewash or other water source so you can respond quickly if you or a co-worker are contaminated with a chemical. Take the time to locate them and become familiar with their use before an accident occurs!
  • Remember, report all incidents and injuries to your supervisor.

Where can I find more information about illness in autobody workers?

Occupational Health e-News Winter 2006: Focus on Auto Repair