.... but not by much!
Just spent the last week in hospital (ambulance, blue lights, sirens -
the works!) with what turned out to be rather nasty pneumonia. Still
recovering - lots of coughing, wheezing and totally knackered - told I
can't do anything for at least 2 weeks.
Now more to the point..when I do return to working the doc tells me I
must wear a mask when working - I restore antiques, which exposes me to
dust, wire wool fibres and occasionally chemicals - but really more just
dust particles. Does anyone know anything about breathing masks? I had
a look in the local DIY place... There are obviously the cheapo
disposable ones (about Ł1), the medium disposable ones (about Ł10) and
the expensive filter replacement ones (about Ł30-ish + filters). Is
there much difference between any of these in terms of functionality /
comfort? (I'd be wearing one for many hours a day)
The cheap ones will stop the wire-wool fibres, and most dust. As a
farmer, the significant risks were, sometimes, fungal spores and
chemicals: both need better filters.
For the chemicals, I'd recommend investing in the replacable filter type
of mask, with the correct type of filter. Check what chemicals you use.
There are disposable masks that will work. I reckon it will depend on
how often you need one.
Short term, I'd recommend a higher grade dust filter: no point in taking
Your typical DIY store is going to be expensive. Go to a trade source,
buy an ample supply of disposable masks, and change regularly. As the
dust builds up, it becomes harder to breathe through the mask.
David G. Bell -- SF Fan, Filker, and Punslinger.
On the horizon, a carrier task force of the Salvation Navy was
Nip into your local paint/bodyshop and ask where they buy theirs from, as
said above it sounds like you need the replaceable filter type. Some are
made of rubber with two or more straps to hold it firmly and seal properly
against your face and are quite comfortable. Try a few makes to see which
fits you best.
I find those rather bulky so I use something in between. It does have
a one way valve but has to be replaced monthly. In practice as I only
use it for fine dust, cleaning out fly ash, and then infrequently, I
just keep a spare and use one till it gives problems. As it also
filters organic fluids I guess it would need more frequent replacement
in a paint shop.
It's a 3m similar to:
speaking as one who has had pneumonia three times in the last 2 years,
LOOK AFTER YOURSELF!
I rattled the pearly gates, don't want to play that game again for a
good few years, but its only now i'm getting back to where I was!
I would go for the replaceable filter option - it might be more
expensive, but whats a few quid not to have to go through that again?
The cheapo flat pad things are next to useless and if you do get one to
fit well enough actually stop any dust are uncomfortable after <30mins.
The moulded ones are a little better on the comfort front but still tricky
to get, and maintain, a good enough fit to keep dust out.
IMHO the best is a proper half mask with replaceable filters, I have one
and can wear it for hours without any comfort problems and it keeps the
dust and fumes out as it seals properly with very little messing about.
You can also select the filters, I normally use "dust and organic vapours"
very effective they are as well, was using nitromos to strip a door,
couldn't detect any vapours at all when I had the mask on but when I took
it off the garage was well fumigated <cough><cough>.
Dave. pam is missing e-mail
I did try one of those some while back (removing pigeon c**p from the
loft - mountains of it), and found it produced a lot of condensation. I
wear glasses these days, and although they're outside the mask, leakage
round the sides meant they were always steaming up. In other words, not
good for any sort of physical work.
If you're in the same part of the workshop all the time, you might want
to consider a positive pressure system, with an air pump and remote
filter, such as production welders and asbestos contractors often use.
It's a little cumbersome, but it's got several advantages, including a
resistance to fogging up and obviously cleaner air and easier breathing.
Also, as you're not trying to clean 'dirty' air as much as with
head-worn filters, the filters don't clog as much...
<aside> When I worked for a computer hardware manufacturer in the 1990s
who made hard disks, we had a clean tunnel, rather than a clean room,
for hard disk mechanism assembly. There was a positive air pressure over
the conveyor belt (flow guided by large, angled Perspex panels), down
from the ceiling and out over the laps of the line workers. People only
needed to wear gowns caps and masks, not full suits - jeans and trainers
(and anti-static straps of course!) were fine, and both the particle
count and the line yield were far better than using clean room
techniques. Everyone much preferred good airflow too (it amounted to a
gentle warm draught if you were sat on the line working), rather than
the claustrophobic effect of a clean room.</>
SIMON MUIR, BRISTOL UK
On Tue, 09 Oct 2007 11:06:48 GMT, SpamTrapSeeSig wrote:
It wasn't a good fit to your face then, a properly fitting half mask does
not leak. As you know I wear specs, I don't have steaming up problems with
my half mask. It's a 3M one bought from RS a long time ago, so long that
the plastic head bands have gone brittle...
These are good:
Ł46 quid inc a cannister, wonder if the prescription lenses are easy to
The S10 is de to be replaced by the General Service Respirator this year,
so I expect the surplus places will have S10's by the million...
Dave. pam is missing e-mail
Thankfully the ADR doesn't require us to use repiration protection ( if its
that dodgy run away upwind ) I remember only too well my younger days in the
plating shop lab poring over huge tanks of Chromic acid and assorted
cyanides so we did use a lot of masks ( proof being that I still have a
heartbeat so we must have had the right kit ) I'd enquire at Arco
http://www.arco.co.uk/static/respiratory_protection.html they have a good
range and I reckon you should be looking for protection against organic
vapours as well as particulate filters and use them as required I never had
any complaints about the ones I used and that was a very long time ago so
they should be even better at least I hope so. Just had a look and they do
welder filters - handy! .The other route is good extraction around the
workspace if the air is flowing away from you then so should the bits.
I use masks a fair bit, found Sundstrom to be the best- easiest to draw the
Good range of cartridges, lots of surface area in their dust cartridge, you
can stack carts as well if you need gas also.
Whatever you choose, be sure to get one that can use a prefilter, which is a
light, thin non-woven sheet that goes on the end of the cart to catch the
larger crap first & preserve your filter. A pack of 20 or so prefilters is
much cheaper than replacing a blocked cart ; your carts last much longer,
when breathing requires more effort just change the prefilter.
I've used a wide variety of respirators, goggles and face masks over the
years. About a year ago, I invested in a 3M Dustmaster system, which is
one of the type which has a belt mounted battery pack and fan feeding
air to a head shield/visor arrangement.
I will never, ever, go back to using a face mask type respirator if I
can possibly help it. The main advantages are:
- extra vision which a full visor provides
- the air supply stops it misting up
- it's way more comfortable
- works far better with glasses
- air comes in from behind you so the filters last longer since they are
away from the main work area
The only real disadvantage is the cost. I also had to buy a pair of
neck-band ear defenders to go with it, but these were cheap enough.
If you really expect to use it for hours a day, I have absolutely no
doubt that the extra cost is worthwhile.
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