Exposure to lead, cadmium and chromium among spray painters in automobile body repair shops

J Occup Health. 2005 Nov;47(6):518-22. doi: 10.1539/joh.47.518.


Environmental and biological monitoring of lead, cadmium and chromium levels in spray painters is reported. All of the study subjects worked in automobile body repair shops that had no standard spraying room. They were divided into 2 groups, those who wore an aerosol-removing respirator while spraying (n=20) and those who did not wear the respirator (n=50). Air in the breathing zone of each subject was sampled and analyzed for lead, cadmium and chromium levels. The subjects' blood lead levels and urinary cadmium and chromium levels were also measured along with those of a control group. The mean environmental and biological levels of these metals between the two groups of the painters were not significantly different (p>0.05). However, the biological levels of the metals were significantly higher in the study groups than in the control group (p<0.01). On-site observations revealed that improper use of an aerosol-removing respirator, lack of an isolated spraying room and poor personal hygiene habits caused the failure to prevent heavy metal exposure among the automobile spray painters.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aerosols
  • Automobiles*
  • Cadmium / analysis*
  • Cadmium / urine
  • Chromium / analysis*
  • Chromium / urine
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Inhalation Exposure*
  • Lead / analysis*
  • Lead / blood
  • Male
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Paint*
  • Respiratory Protective Devices
  • Thailand


  • Aerosols
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Lead