This website has been set up to provide basic information on the dangers of using solvents in the workplace and how to protect yourself from exposure. The information is provided as a guideline only and not as a replacement for professional advice.

The Glove Up campaign was started in response to the death of, and as a dedication to, our son Jason Gibson.

Jason passed away on the 12th of November 2003 aged 29 of Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia.

For 2½ years Jason’s Mother (Annette) along with his Wife (Sonia) researched the cause of his death. Through this research ACC came to the final conclusion that his (Leukemia) death was classed as “Industrial Death through Solvents”.

Our Aim is to have our GLOVE UP sign on all Carcinogens rated category 1, as this has been proven to create Cancer in Humans.


  • Company director sentenced to home detention with the death of an employee who was buried in trench collapse along with his company Steelcon Construction Limited receiving fines and reparation orders totaling more than $175,000…read more
  • Worker left with a life of constant pain after being impaled and hang on a steel hook resulting with AFFCO fined $30,000 and ordered to pay reparation of $25,000 for failing in its duties…read more
  • Worker left with permanent disability and Te Awamutu company, John Austin Limited, being fined and ordered to pay reparation totaling more than $100.000…read more
  • Worksafe New Zealand urged all to Keep Calm and Keep Safe after hearing about far fetched requirements claims from sporting organisations and companies…read more
  • Even Territorial Authorities are subject to prosecution with charges being laid against the Hamilton City Council are the death of a zoo keeper…read more
  • First day on the job death leads to $180k fine/reparation for Gisborne-based logging transport operator…read more
  • WorkSafe’s first work-related health update – It’s a sobering thought that workers in New Zealand are ten times more likely to die of a work-related disease than from a work-related injury. Tens of thousands of people also have severe health issues because of their work.  For more information and links to very useful workplace resources click here
  • After a spike in cases of leptospirosis in Northland, farmers are being urged to take care around animals and to vaccinate their livestock…read more
  • Hamilton flooring company fined after employee suffers serious burns an fined $33,125 and ordered to pay reparations totalling $24,482.88…read more


From Tony Gibson of Gibson Decorators – (Jason’s Father)

The Wednesday before Jason passed away he came to my home and complained of Hayfever like symptoms. The night prior he ran to the top of the summit road and back where he told me he had a nose bleed. I said to him at the time maybe he should go and get a lead test (as he was a painter) as he had been doing some lead paint removal. The next day he went to the doctor and had a blood test taken. The following day, Friday at 4pm in the afternoon,he received a phone call from his doctor stating he should go to the hospital immediately as he had blood cancer.

The following Wednesday morning Jason passed away, 6 days after being diagnosed with Leukemia. He suffered 5 massive brain hemorrhages. As you can imagine we were shocked as we had been told prior to his death he had an 85% chance of recovery.

Since then I have made it my mission to find the reasons behind my son’s death.This is one of the reasons for this website.

In relating back to an incident where he had been working for an industrial painter a short time prior to his death:

Jason had pulled up at my home to collect his daughter. As he opened the door to his van he fell on the ground. I asked him, “Had he been drinking?”. He said, “No, I have been spraying the inside of brewery tanks with two pot paints”. He was some 25 feet away from me at that particular time and I could smell the toxins. I said he should not have his daughter in the van with him. I then went to the vehicle, looked in it and the vehicle was empty. The stench of solvents was coming from him through his pores as he perspired and not the van as I had thought.

Unbeknown to me at the time, I was to pass this vital information to OSH after the death of my son.

Since then I have realised the extent of the risk we take when using solvents – not just in the painting industry but all industries that use solvents. However, it is important to note that in 1989 the Cancer Research Association classified the whole of the painting industry as a category 1 carcinogen. Unfortunately for my boy this information was not passed on to the polytechnics when he was trained.

The statistics today show 1000 people die of emissions every year in New Zealand and a further 1700 people die every year from work related diseases. This, on average, means 50 people every week are dying UNNECESSARILY. With the proper education I feel this number can reduce dramatically – AWARENESS is the key.

Just some of the important facts to me are:

  • 4 years ago when my son died, 1 in 3 New Zealanders were affected by cancer. Today’s statistics are now 1 in 3 are dying of Cancer. CANCER is New Zealand’s biggest KILLER!
  • Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia is a particular pattern of chromosomal damage proven to be caused by solvents – Toluene and Xylene to name two.
  • Skin Contact – Solvents can be detected in the body within 30 seconds of skin contact.

Hence our Glove Up Campaign. I believe the most important solutions are to be able to identify your hazards – i.e. Solvents (eg. Benzene), Herbicides, etc etc and by correct labeling and Carcinogen Ratings.

Jason’s case is perhaps similar, or not, to yours. This is why the information in this website is not only directed at Painters and their industry but to Everyone. Upon reading the statistics and all the information we have on this site you may be able to relate it to your situation and hopefully have some further education or knowledge on how to protect yourself and your loved ones from exposure.

My Wife and I want to help, and to educate others so if there is someone else you can share the information on this site with, please do. We intend to keep a register of all solvent affected people as a reference for future statistics (see the Affected Persons Register on this website).

Remember it can be prevented.
Jason Gibson - died from workplace chemical poisoning
In Loving Memory
Jason Gibson
1974 – 2003

This introduction has been compiled by Leeanna (Jason’s Sister) and their Father.

We would like to thank our sponsors:

  • Trevor and Lyn Bills
  • Signs Display
  • Barry and Helen O’Brien
  • Nellies Bar & Grill, Mosgiel

We would also like to thank our supporters:

  • Resene Paints
  • Collision Repair Association
  • Decorative Supplies

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