A blood disorder generally labeled "essential thromboycythemia" (which causes your body to create too many platelets) may be linked to chemicals used in Powder Coating Paints. Researchers need to do some further investigation into this since there is ample evidence that this is a possibility for anyone who works as a Powder Coating Painter.
Examples of products you may even own that have powder paint on them are generators, metal tables, metal fences, etc. The grainy metal pain that is on your metal furniture pieces is more than likely powder paint.
This disorder is usually found in the elderly around 70 years of age. However, it has been diagnosed in one man who is now 33 years old.
This man is my husband. He worked in Janesville, WI as a Powder Painter lead. He was not required to wear only a mask in a couple companies he worked for. In one place, masks were OPTIONAL. I cannot name the company for legal reasons.
One evening, he started having signs of a heart attack. I called the ER and told them to expect me as I rushed him into the hospital. They drew some blood work and did an EKG and checked his oxygen levels. All seemed to be ok.
However, the doctor came back and said that his platelet count was above 2 million.
The normal amount of platelets is said to be around 400,000. **(1)
My husband was referred to an oncologist. He had a painful bone marrow test to check for leukemia. The results were negative. He was first diagnosed with Essential Thrombocythemia. He was treated with Hydroxyurea, a common drug used to treat those with cancer to kill off the platelets. He was also given allopurinol, a drug to help filter the dead platelets without causing excessive damage to the kidneys.
Here we are in 2012, and my husband was diagnosed with Von Willebrand disease. ** (4) Recently, he had a dark mass found on a chest X-Ray. Doctors told us that this type of disease does not really at this point have a specific cause, but they do have a theory that it is environmental. I am starting to believe this.
I looked up the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) on the chemicals used in a certain brand of powder paint. **(2) All seemed to contain one common chemical -- carbon black. When we researched carbon black we found that long term it causes lung damage and also can cause disorders and diseases and is even carcinogenic to humans!
I have a theory that these chemicals are the cause of his illness. The problem is, companies with powder painting employees are not cracking down on the proper safety equipment for handling this paint. Some make you sign a waiver saying that it is possible to contract health issues. However, they should be taking every possible precaution to prevent their employees from inhaling the dangerous contents of powder paint.
OSHA should work with employers to insure their safety while on the job. ** (3) In the long run, it is not worth having the complications of this blood disorder or permanent lung damage.
** (1) Source fromMedline Plus with a quote about the normal platelet count as follows "
Normal Results 150,000 - 400,000 platelets per microliter (mcL)."
** (2) Source from Powder Technology Inc Website. (http://www.powdertechnologyinc.com) http://www.powdertechnologyinc.com/msds/
OSHA's Information on Powder Paint Ingredients and Effects
** (3) OSHA article posted about a place and about citations for safety.
** (4) Mayo Clinic Website with further detail on Von Willebrand Disease.