I have been helping my father in law with all kinds of work on his 68 Chevelle SS including some help with body putty which I am not accustomed to. He has a friend that used to work in a body shop way back in the day that has been supervising and doing most of the painting.
He was warning us that we should not attempt to paint the car on our own for reasons that it is dangerous if you dont know what you are doing. He stated that there were extremely carcinogenic materials in the paint and clearcoat that when aerosolized will give you cancer so he made sure we ordered him a respirator and body suit, as well as install additional ventilation in the garage.
What confused me was that he didnt bother wearing the respirator when sanding, and he didnt even wear the suit we bought him when painting. I was confused so i started googling and found certain types of older paints may contain nasty stuff but didnt get any indication that auto paint was any more dangerous than say regular spray paint that i might buy at the hardware store.
If i decide to help painting cars in the future, should I be concerned and what precautions should I take to protect my health?