Instructions on many sprays and spray devices warn us to “use in a well-ventilated area.” It seems counter-intuitive to confine our toxic fumes to a small, enclosed space. The purpose of a spray booth, however, is to keep those toxic fumes away from yourself and those who may be exposed to them while filtering out the harmful vapors and particles. Additionally, if using a flammable spray, spray booths can prevent fire or explosions from occurring, while keeping the environment safe from combustible air/fuel combinations. The booth area should always contain exhaust filters, and masks and respirators should always be worn.

Exhaust filters installed in spray booths are used to remove the hazardous fumes and particles that can get into the air when using spray chemicals. As air passes through the filters, it purifies the harmful vapors from chemicals such as auto paint, powder coatings, and other protective coatings. All of these sprays contain noxious poisons that if inhaled or exposed to skin could have serious, long-term effects.

Removing substances like asbestos is also a dangerous endeavor. Once the material is disturbed, the harmful elements become airborne and may end up in the lungs of the person removing the substance as well as those around them. Using a portable booth with a HEPA filter will help to prevent inhalation of the substance while it cleans the air.

The single-most important reason why you should use a spray booth when handling hazardous chemicals is for safety — safety for yourself, and safety for the people around you. Breathing in hazardous fumes can have a number of serious effects. They can cause neurological damage, lung damage, and in some cases skin damage. They can also prevent fires and explosions. Proper handling of hazardous materials can mean the difference between breathing easy or suffering long-term and possibly fatal illnesses.