Spray paint `causes asthma'

Thousands of workers across Britain risk contracting asthma from spray paints, it was revealed yesterday. The Health and Safety Executive is targeting a type of paint, known as "two-pack", which contains chemicals called isocyanates. It has now issued an information sheet to encourage paint shop workers to be more aware of the risks and take greater steps to avoid suffering permanent ill health.

Dr Nerys Williams, of the HSE, said: "Vapours, spray mists, dusts and deposits containing isocyanates are highly irritant ... and can result in sore eyes, runny noses, sore throats ... Ultimately, they can also cause asthma." It has been estimated that 500 cases of asthma due to isocyanates have occurred within a recent three-year period.