Paint contains – among other things – binders and pigments, and it may also contain different types of solvents. Avoid inhaling vapours frompaint, and avoid getting it on your skin if the paint contains organic solvents. When spray-painting, there is a risk of inhaling both aerosol (spray mist) and vapours from solvents. Aerosols may contain metalliferous pigments which are harmful to health (compounds of lead, chrome or nickel) and are therefore hazardous to inhale.

Paint may also contain irritant and allergenic substances.

Thinning paint

If you thin a paint, the safety rules may change. Therefore, code numbers for mixtures which are ready for use (after thinning) must always be stated; e.g. thinning of paint (coded 2-2) with a thinner (coded 3-1) will normally change the code to 3-2 and therefore requires more stringent safety rules.


Maximum permitted code numbers are set for certain types of painting work. This is applicable to painting work taking place indoors, for example.