Q. I worked as a smash repairer long before. Will it likely to cause health problems later?

Answered by
Dr. Arul Amuthan
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Nov 19, 2019

Hello doctor,

Years ago I worked as an apprentice in a smash repairer. Mostly I was wet, sanding primer coats and sanding filler flat. This was 20 years ago, and I have not worked in this field since.

While doing this I never wore a mask, no one in the shop did that, except the painter when he was in the booth. No one online seems to wear a mask when doing these tasks either. I know the dust from this process probably is not fantastic, but I had no short term effects and was just hoping someone in the know can put my anxious mind at rest by confirming that the reason no one wears a mask because the dust is relatively safe as far as long term health conditions go. It seems highly unlikely these were fiberglass based as automotive fillers seem to be plastic-based. I also might have been in the shop when sanding of paint happened or smelt the smell of spray paint after a job but never remember being in close proximity to anything like that.

Dr. Arul Amuthan

Ayurveda Specialist Naturopathy Pharmacology Siddha Medicine Toxicology


Welcome to icliniq.com.

There is a health hazard upon exposure of such inhalational dust materials for short term exposure (up to 6 months), it can produce allergic rhinitis, cough, and sputum. On long term exposure, it may produce cough, wheezing, nasal stuffiness, fever, blood in sputum, difficulty in breathing. In your case, the exposure is short term and after that no exposure now. You are away from those exposures. So, if at all the issues were there, that might have been now settled down and you become absolutely normal. Only in long term exposure, lung gets damaged or bad effects continue even after stopping the exposure.

So, you are on the safer side. You are normal now. If you wish still to test it, then go for x-ray chest, pulmonary function (breathing) test and differential count in the blood. These will tell still the hazardous effect is there are not. I do not recommend you to go for these tests.

I hope this helps.

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