Take a deep breath, our article on car body shop dust is here

In any operation, material contact with abrasive grain creates airborne dust. Clearing this fine dust from the car body shop is important in maintaining a professional appearance to your business and is crucial to the health of the technicians.

What do we mean by “dust” in the body shop?

Far beyond the simple mixture of dirt and old skin cells found in every household, car body shop dust is quite different.

When a painted surface or plastic body filler is sanded, a cocktail of tiny fragments are released into the air; this noxious cloud of particulates may comprise of heavy metals such as lead, aluminium and chromium.

Without proper extraction and/or ventilation, these elements are small enough to linger in the air, long after the body shop technician has finished the work and removed their face mask and eye protection.

Keep your mask on

It goes without saying that chronic inhalation of heavy metal particulates and other chemical components isn’t going to do your lungs any good.

Over time, metal dust particles settle and steadily build in the airways of the lungs, causing them to become inflamed and irritated.

Lung conditions commonly associated with long-term exposure include siderosis; a lung disorder that can escalate into further complications like pneumonia or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

So keep your mask on as often as you can!

orbital sanding car paint

Removing dust particles from the air can be quite a challenge once they are dispersed. As the grains are generally smaller than those found in household dust, they are transported more readily and more widespread by convection currents and other air movements throughout the workshop.

Sweeping the floor rather than vacuuming or extracting the can just add to the problem; remobilising the settled dust.

Therefore, adequate ventilation, personal protection equipment for the technicians and vacuum sanding products (that remove dust at the source) are essential features of a good car body shop.

Norton automotive abrasives

For years, the Norton brand has been a leading innovator in the development of sanding systems for the automotive aftermarket with notable advancements in dust extraction.

Norton’s Multi-Air Process for instance was launched in 2003 and presented the market a with a 181 holed pad; eclipsing the market standard of just 8.

automotive sanding discs

Since then, we’ve continued the same ethos for innovation and excellence.

Read more about our continually advancing solutions to body shop dust extraction, including the recently evolved Norton Cyclonic Multi-Air, or alternatively try our latest product for the automotive aftermarket; Norton MeshPower.

This range features superb dust extraction through all stages of the process from stripping to finishing and can be used on primer, filler, paint, lacquer, fibre glass, composite and aluminium (and many more).

To find your local stockist for these products, visit our where to buy section.

Find your local stockist

SGA image

Keep clean and carry on

On top of the obvious health and safety benefits, here are three ways that keeping a dust-free body shop is great for business:

1. Less Time Cleaning

– Better dust extraction during the working day means you spend more time working and less time cleaning; making the business more productive and more profitable.


2. Fewer Sick Days

– Having just explained some of the negative side effects of dust inhalation, this is an obvious one. Less harmful dust for your staff to breathe in potentially results fewer sick days and again; the business is more productive and more profitable.


3. Professional Appearance

– Appearances are everything! Make your cleanliness and professionalism a marketable asset; showing your competitors to look dirty and dingy by comparison.

For more Information

For more information on how Norton Abrasives can benefit your car body shop (or any business in the automotive aftermarket), please use our contact web form or get in touch with a Norton Abrasives representative.