3M encourages the safe practice of graffiti
3 October 2013
The Personal Safety Division of diversified technology company 3M has helped protect the lungs of youngsters in Northern Ireland as they took part in a community graffiti project which teaches them about cultural diversity.
The ’Skills for Your Life’ programme took place at the South Eastern Regional College in North Down, Northern Ireland and was the collaborative initiative of internationally-renowned artists Inga and Andy Hamilton and the Peace III programme. However, when limited funding put restrictions on the launch of the programme, 3M stepped in. Inga and Andy were provided with 30 3M 4251 Maintenance Free Reusable Half Mask Respirators, which protect against the paint mist particulate and solvents commonly used with paints.
Solvent-based spray paints can be classed as hazardous substances, according to the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations. Inhalation of the solvent vapours that are given off during their use may result in adverse chronic and acute health effects, especially to the body’s central nervous and respiratory systems.
International graffiti artist, Andy Hamilton, aka MyTarpit and co-facilitator of the workshop initiative explains: “Many of the up-and-coming graffiti artists of today have been inspired by the likes of Banksy, who is well known for using stencils. However, older artists are only now starting to experience the long-term respiratory side effects caused by the solvents used in spray paints, as protection wasn’t as advanced in those days and people weren’t as clued up to the importance of using safety equipment. Using respirators, like the ones provided by 3M, will help to reduce the effects of respiratory diseases caused by paints and will go some way towards making spray-painted graffiti a safer and more approachable artform.”
Inga Hamilton adds: “We’re delighted that we were able to go ahead with the project equipped with what we believe is the respirator of choice for the graffiti world. 3M enabled us to spend six days with these students safely teaching art techniques; promoting key learning and social skills, decision making, respect and inclusion; and covering community relation topics, such as anti-sectarianism and anti-racism.”
The project was funded by the European Union’s (EU) PEACE lll Programme, and was managed by Special EU Programmes Body and delivered by North Down, Ards and Down Council Cluster.
Robert Brill, technical services engineer for the 3M Personal Safety Division, concludes: “Our innovative 4000 Series respirators have been specifically designed to filter organic vapours and particulates, such as this type of paint mist and are easy to use. We hope that our involvement in this project will help to raise the safety standards of the graffiti art world as a whole.”
The 3M 4251 Maintenance Free Reusable Half Mask respirators are available to purchase from authorised distributors or direct from www.3Mdirect.co.uk and retail at £16.73 plus VAT.
For further information on the full range of Personal Protective Equipment and safety solution services available from 3M, visit the website www.3M.co.uk/safety or call 0870 60 800 60 in the UK or 1 800 320 500 (Ireland).
To see more of Andy Hamilton’s work, visit www.mytarpit.com. For Inga’s work, visit www.ingahamilton.com and to see the students in action wearing their 3M respirators, go to www.hamiltonworkshops.blogspot.com.