Release date: March 28, 1975
Release number: 75-030

Release Details

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warns consumers that high pressure airless paint spray guns may be hazardous under certain conditions.

The commission said the problem may arise when the user's hand, finger, or other parts of the body come into close contact with the jet spray of paint. Because the paint in airless spray guns is ejected with a great deal of pressure and velocity, the user's skin may be penetrated, injecting paint into the underlying tissues. The resulting injury to the skin and tissue may cause permanent damage or require surgical amputation.

Animal studies done at the commission support the conclusion that the potential danger exists.

Airless spray guns are manufactured in two types. The large capacity units are used by professional painters and are available to consumer through rental outlets. Through filed investigations of some 70 rental outlets, The commission found many large capacity spray guns did not carry warning labels or written operating instructions.

The small capacity units, often called "Cup Guns", may be purchased by consumers for up to approximately $100.00 each.

The commission is aware of 25 case histories of accidents involving airless paint spray guns. Seventeen of those victims required partial or total amputation of a finger.

CPSC also has conduction six in-depth investigations of accidents involving airless paint guns. Four of those victims required partial or total finger amputation. Three of those victims were professional painters and one was a consumer.

The commission advises consumers who either rent or purchase an airless paint spray gun to read all operating instructions carefully. Consumers should never rent such equipment without receiving written operating instructions.

Never clean or attempt to unclog the nozzle while the machine is plugged in and keep away from the paint spray at all times.

If injury does occur, the commission strongly recommends immediate medical treatment. What appears to be a small pinprick could result in a serious injury.

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