A: If you take the appropriate safety measures airbrushing is completely safe.
Risk -Breathing Overspray
Paint is toxic stuff, even paint that says non-toxic is bad to breathe. The counter-measure is simple.
Wear your mask or respirator.
Use the equipment appropriate to your paint.
- Urethanes, lacquers, etc, generally require you to wear a respirator with a filter appropriate to that kind of paint.
- Water-based paints usually only require you to wear a dust mask that covers your mouth and nose.
- When in doubt contact the paint’s manufacturer and ask them.
Risk – Wearing Overspray
Absorbing paint through the skin can be bad.
Wear protective clothing.
Use clothing appropriate to the paint type
- Urethanes, lacquers, and crazy stuff I don’t know how to pronounce or spell generally require the specialized suits (like Tyvek)
- Paints approved for topical use on the skin like make up, tanning solution, or body paint don’t need any protective clothing.
- Water-based paints are the gray area. For most people you probably won’t have to worry about a little overspray on your skin, but some people do get severe allergic reactions to the types of pigments and chemicals used in these paints. Honestly, I usually spray these kinds of paint in my normal clothes, but I do make sure I thoroughly wash my hands (or if I’ve been really bad, take a shower) when I’m done.
- Again, contact the paint’s manufacturer if you have specific questions or concerns.
The Guru’s Opinion
I wear my mask. I’ve talked to too many people who never used them and now they’ve got spots on their lungs.
Spray safe and stay around for awhile.