I had a bigger shop for a few years, and hired and fired a lot of painters. It took three years to get a reliable crew! I always blamed it on the paint fumes. :-)~
I'm 64 and I've always worn a mask. About 8-10 years ago I made myself a blow-through mask using oil-less diaphragm style compressors for my total air source.
At 17 I was diagnosed with chronic bronchitis... but have no sign of any respiratory problems at all today! ...and that is after spray painting for fifty years!!!