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Any respirator suggestions for body and blasting?


Zthing

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Looking to pick up a half mask respirator for general body/paint/sandblast etc. Was wondering what everybody uses. Just trying to protect the old windbags. Noticing a lot of 3M and AOSafety products around. I would like to find something that will still have replacement filters available a year down the road. Don't wanna spend a fortune, but do wanna keep my lungs stretchy. :D

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Depends on what kind of paint you plan to spray. The newer acrylic urethanes contain isanocyanates, a form of cianide. So, they can be dangerous to work with and a typical dual-canister type of half mask won't provide sufficient protection. For these paints you need a fresh-air type hood & mask. Check www.eastwood.com for these types of respirators.

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For regular body work (bondo, fiberglass, grinding, etc) a dust mask can be sufficient. It will keep the dust out of your nose and lungs which is your main intent. Very few of the fumes in bondo or fiberglass are noxious enough to warrant a respirator mask. At least this is what I use. If you are VERY worried, you could step up to a painter's mask with NIOSH filters and charcoal packs, but I think after the first time you sweat a gallon or so you'll give up on it.

As far as painting, if you stay away from the multiple stage paints (these are "typically" the ones that carry the cyanide) you would only need a standard respirator half mask with the charcoal and felt paper filters. Check the application sheet on the paint and it will tell you what it recommends as far as breathing protection.

A half mask respirator, with outside air being piped in is what is considered MINIMUM protection for use with the cyanide paints. You are still advised to use goggles and even then you run the risk of the soft tissues around your eyes absorbing the cyanide. Granted, if you are only painting ONE car, then your exposure is minimal. If you were doing this as a job, then nobody would recommend it.

The FULL face mask respirator with outside air is the best method of protection. There are those that use piped in air from your compressor and those that use their own fan/hose assembly. There are also combinations with a complete head hood as well as the full face mask. You end up looking like you're working with the ebola virus, but safe is safe!

Unfortunately, you're talking pennies for the dust mask, $15 to $20 for the half mask and add for the cartridges and filters, to at a guess, close to $100 for the half mask air supplied respirator and a couple of hundred for the full face. Add extra for the hood.

FWIW

E

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Looking to pick up a half mask respirator for general body/paint/sandblast etc. Was wondering what everybody uses. Just trying to protect the old windbags. Noticing a lot of 3M and AOSafety products around. I would like to find something that will still have replacement filters available a year down the road. Don't wanna spend a fortune, but do wanna keep my lungs stretchy. :D

Just to clarify a few things...

To truly protect your lungs from dust from grinding, fibers from fiberglass, etc. (aka particulates), you need at least a half-face respirator using a P100 cartridge. The mask must be the right size, and you have to adjust the straps properly, too. As for the manufacturer, 3M, MSA, Scott, Willson, Draeger, North, Survivair, and AOSafety are all companies that are likely to be around for a while. If you want to filter out the vapor from fiberglass resins, you can also probably find a combination organic vapor/P100 filter. Remember that you need to match the manufacturer of the filter to the manufacturer of the respirator.

Some others mentioned paints that contain isocyanates. Cyanide poisoning isn't what you need to be worried about. Isocyanates will sensitize your respiratory system, and you could experience anaphylactic shock (like with a bee sting), choking you to death. I haven't looked at the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) from many automotive paints to see if they contain isocyanates. They are correct in that you need supplied air for spraying isocyanates. You also have to make sure you are not pulling the air from anywhere that could be contaminated by the isocyanates as they get into the air.

Above all, carefully read the MSDS for the paint. You can usually get a copy of it just by emailing the manufacturer. Depending upon the paint you are using and where you are painting, you might be able to use a full face respirator with an organic vapor cartridge. A prefilter may also help prevent the filter from clogging. You have to make sure you have adequate ventilation. This prevents displacing the oxygen in the room, and it prevents you from building up a high enough concentration of the organic solvent and overwhelming the respirator. As with the half face respirator, you must choose the right size respirator, or it will leak.

Be sure you store your mask in a clean area, preferably in a plastic bag to prevent contamination. You also need to know how to clean your respirator and maintain it, unless you plan on using only disposable respirators. Also, don't paint in your garage if you have a water heater there, especially a gas-powered water heater.

You can find a variety of respirators and filters at Lab Safety (http://www.lss.com). They even have a fit-test kit available for $45.

I have worked on respiratory protection programs for over 11 years. If you have any questions, feel free to send me a PM.

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  • 2 weeks later...

When it was time to paint my Z, I didn't fool around. I got a HobbyAir supplied air (positive pressure) respirator with a full hood. To do the job right, you're going to be in "the booth" (in my case, PVC!) for hours so you might as well be comfortable and be able to see well. And don't forget, iso's can be absorbed through your skin and eyes as well. That's another reason to get a full hood. I didn't want to shave my beard either so that was yet another reason to get a full hood.

I got my setup with some additional lense covers (very handy) for a very good price at autobodystore.com

Don't skimp on your health and safety :-)

-Ken P.

P.S. The difference between a HobbyAir and a ProAir system is the type of air hose it comes with. The ProAir has an OSHA-approved hose.

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