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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've done a search and this has never really been discussed here. I'm thinking that I would like go get a respirators to use under my welding helmet and also when doing various other shop activities that produce a lot of dust.

Does anyone else use one on a daily basis. Here's what I'm looking at

http://tinyurl.com/ydmmbjk

Thanks
Larry
 

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I usually use a mask designed for grinding whenever I file tubes, and another "welding" respirator I bought at home depot when I braze. I'm looking to get a better one for brazing, I am not totally sold on the quality of the HD welding respirator, but I'm sure it's way better than nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I used to have some throw away jobies that seemed to work, but I don't have much faith in them. I did call 3M to ask some questions concerning their respirators and the gentleman I spoke recommended these ( http://tinyurl.com/yj3j2py ) filters when welding.
 

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I've used a North 7700 since the days I was at Bike Friday and they bought me one 10 years ago. I use it when I'm doing a lot of grinding or any brazing. I use different cartridges for fumes vs. particulate matter. I'm a big fan of respirators.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Themanmonkey - since you brought up North I would like to throw this out there as well. North has this http://tinyurl.com/y9xoq82 which moves the filter carterages to your back and away from your welding hood. For now I'm only doing tig, so I'm kind of tight on space.
 

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Does anyone know where you could order these online? It's a real pain to find this stuff in my town, I think I'm willing to pay shipping to not have to hunt from store to store that are only open weekdays looking for one. :p
 

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SOFTBUTT said:
Themanmonkey - since you brought up North I would like to throw this out there as well. North has this http://tinyurl.com/y9xoq82 which moves the filter carterages to your back and away from your welding hood. For now I'm only doing tig, so I'm kind of tight on space.
I've only worn one of those once under a hood and they seemed to work fine. I don't do much TIG, but if I did I'd use one of those. I think you can retro-fit those hoses to a normal half-mask. There are also heavier versions of the ubiquitous paper masks that work for some fumes and under hoods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Bobtron - i know you can order both of these from amazon. i would think they are both available at http://www1.mscdirect.com/cgi/nnsrhm too.

i'm still up in the air about which one to get. i'm going to pull the trigger, but i need to get out the mask and see how much room i have in there. i like the north one, but it seems like a hassle to deal with. but it does afford me more room in my helmet and seems like it would be less likely to fog things up.
 

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themanmonkey said:
I've used a North 7700 since the days I was at Bike Friday and they bought me one 10 years ago. I use it when I'm doing a lot of grinding or any brazing. I use different cartridges for fumes vs. particulate matter. I'm a big fan of respirators.
themanmonkey, what's the cartridge model # you use for grinding, and for brazing?
 

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Sorry I don't know off the top of my head and the stickers have fallen off the filters. If you read their PDF at my link above it'll give you the details.
 

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Alistair good tom see you posting.

How are you liking the 3M product? I think that's the mask I've used with serious filters for painting a couple times. I'm going to pick up a new mask soon as my North is almost dead after 10 years.
 

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Brandon,

the multi vapor cartridge combined with the P100 particulate filter has been great for me. As I understand it, when brazing you're dealing not only with the gases/vapors generated by the flux but also the fumes from the brass/silver, which are actually tiny particles of brass/silver suspended in air.
The P100 seems to be an upgraded HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter, which hopefully takes care of the metal particles. The multi vapor cartridge hopefully takes care of whatever is cooking out of the flux. I say hopefully because there is an awful lot of data to sift through, a lot of which goes beyond my basic understanding of chemistry.
Like a lot of things, you can get way deep looking into this kind of thing. I looked into it enough to satisfy myself that the solution I arrived at is a decent one. Obviously, it would be possible to spend more on a "better" system. Everyone has their own idea of what is good enough when it comes to their own health.

Alistair.
 

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Not a builder, but a fan of all you builders. Oh and I am responsible for a respirator program for a large employer.

Respirator fit is very important that is why they make different sizes. My required respirator users, myself included, have to pass a quantitative fit-test before they can wear respirators around known high or potentially high exposures. Are you wearing your respirator over facial hair? That could be a problem. A tight fit is important.

If you can get a fit test, I recommend it. Read appendix A of OSHA 1910.134 for the different methods.
http://osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9780
If not, do the best you can and follow manufacturers recommendations.

Not trying to put snores on you all, but there is important info. to know in order to protect your self from inhalation exposure. And hey your are getting a good deal. Hire a Certified Industrial Hygienist to see what they would charge you for this info. Many who are just consultants do not know a lot of the details learned by running a program. I am a CIH too, and a mountain biker for over 20 years.

For particulates you need to know filter (mechanical capture) jargon. N, P or R before 95, 99 or 100 means: N-not resistant to oil mist(as in large fab shops with lots of oil mist), P-partially resistant to oil mist, and R-resistant to oil mist. N should work for most of you. The number is the percent of efficiency as tested against 0.3 micron particles(95 is 94.99%; 99 is 98.99% and 100 is 99.99%). Welding fumes can be as small as 0.1 micron. This does not mean that 0.1 particles sail through the filter. When particles get this small, they behave much differently and are not affected by gravity as much as heavier particles. 0.3 microns is the most penetrating particle size, so it is the test standard. N95s are approved for tuberculosis and should work for all of your basic mechanical particulate generating needs. I commonly use N95 dust masks(Note these are technically respirators) Dust masks are usually single strapped and have no NIOSH rating or approval.

For welding, the N95s work, but I would use a N, R or P100 filter P100 cartridges are quite common. I use them with my dual cartridge half face. For vapors and gases you must get specific cartridges that capture via chemical capture. Organic vapor should cover most of your gas vapor contaminants. When in doubt use the best cartidge like a North Defender.

Know your contaminate form: Particulate, vapor or gas. In the respirator world, fume is a particle produced by condensation and not a vapor or gas. Metal fume is correct, gasoline fume is not. Gasoline vaporizes into a vapor. Metal fume is produced when the metal you just vaporized, with your arc, cools rapidly and condenses from a vapor to a solid particle. Note the liquid state of matter is skipped. Dry ice does the same thing in reverse...sublimation. If you read respirator cartridge info. you will see many that are for dusts, mists, fume, etc. This type of cartridge/respirator will not protect you at all from a vapor.

Two part anything (epoxy, urethane, etc.) can be particularly nasty. Be very careful of inhalation (working with no exhaust ventilation, respirator, etc). Also avoid skin contact. If you doubt me, read the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). Known sensitizers can cause you to become allergic to them with enough exposure. Car painters wear(if not they should) supplied air respirators when applying such materials.

I have two auto body employees and they like the North Pancake with nuisance level OV capacity for sanding & grinding on car bodies. They work with a half face or full face dual cartridge. Any respirator with nuisance level capacity should never be used for potentially high exposures when painting, etc. Always use a catridge in that case. Pancakes fit under the helmet well too. Go to the link below, down load the respirator catalog and look on page 15. Pancakes are P100s with Nuisance level (NL) odor relief. NL means it has a layer of charcoal which absorbs organic vapors. They work well for welding and fit in the North 5500 or 7700 half face respirator.
http://www.northsafety.com/TriggerW...ue&CDTID=a2de4ac6-0971-431d-ac14-d9496fd9b052

If it is in your budget, consider Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR) that attach to welding helmets. Same cartridge selection applies as the filter air and pump clean air into your helmet.

I also like Moldex products. They make numerous filtering facepiece (double strapped NIOSH approved respirator--commonly called dust mask). Not partial to the brands I have mentioned as any brand will work if selected correctly and it fits your face.

I have assessed hundreds of metal exposures(grinding, sanding, foundries, welding, etc.). All types from radiator shops (lead fume), metal fab (e.g. Warn Winches) & pipe welders (mild steel), stainless steel welding (chormium fume), bronze welding at art foundries, etc. Stick welding has produced the highest exposure concentrations in my experience. Wire feed was next and TIG was the least. Generally exposure assessments are conducted over the full days work shift. My guess is most of you weld intermittently and not straight for 8 hours. So relatively your exposures might be below most exposure limits. Respiratory protection is still absolutely recommended. Got to protect those lungs so you can power your creations.

Hope that was helpful and will be flame free knowing you all have torches. :D
Do I qualify for a free frame from anyone???

urmb
 

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urmb thanks so much for all that great info. I need to replace my North and have been putting it off because of all the info, but your post has really cut through a lot of that. As someone with allergies and is asthmatic a mask is damn important to my life outside of work.
 

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Awesome info.

URMB, that is excellent information. This will go in the FAQ. Many thanks!

My guess is that most one-man-shop or hobby builders (like myself) spend less than 1 hour/day TIG welding or brazing (and I do it with the garage doors both opened up). I know that most bike builders don't wear a respirator, but this certainly is something to thionk about.

I won't give you a frame, but I'll sure give you a big discount. Respirator terminology and use has always been a bit of a mystery to me. This makes me willing to put some effort into looking into it more seriously.

-Walt
 

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Maybe, just maybe I'll wear my N95 cartridge respirator next time I fire up the torches. That is this weekend....

I'll definitely be wearing it when I'm brazing my stainless dropouts to the rear triangle.

Nothing like a nice breath of cadmium to go along with all the contact and ingestion exposure the Chinese are giving us.

Yes I wear girls' charm bracelets.......(google it)


Drew
 

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Walt said:
URMB, that is excellent information. This will go in the FAQ. Many thanks!

My guess is that most one-man-shop or hobby builders (like myself) spend less than 1 hour/day TIG welding or brazing (and I do it with the garage doors both opened up). I know that most bike builders don't wear a respirator, but this certainly is something to thionk about.

-Walt
Glad I could help out. I will attempt more questions if you have them. We got to keep you builders alive and well so you can ride and build. Noticed I listed ride first :thumbsup:

Walt's reply pointed out couple of important points. Of course "frame discount" was a very important comment:D

#1 Exposure level: At an hour per day, your exposures will most likely be relatively low. OSHA limits for metals are nearly all based on an 8-hour day of exposure. Lead is 50 micrograms/cubic meter for 8-hours. Iron is 10 milligrams/cubic meter for 8-hours. I generally take 50% of the current limit, might be OSHA-might be ACGIH TLVs, and use that for my action level.

#2 "garage doors both opened..." Again in my world of respirators, respirators are considered the last level of protection.
The basic hiearchy is

Engineering Controls (Local exhaust arms http://www.plymovent.com/templates/Page____1637.aspx, even box fans and open garage doors)
Substitution (e.g. replace lead containing solder with lead free solder)
Administrative Controls (work practices, training, schedule rotation, etc.)
Personal Protective Equipment (respirators, eye protection, etc.)

A bit more detail:
Engineering controls: primarily particulate removal at point of generation (before it enters your breathing zone) by exhaust ventilation; secondarily dilution.

Administrative Controls. Look at how long your exposure is and modify if possible. Spread 8-hours over 4 days at 2 hours per day. Next look at how close your nose and mouth are to the plume. Stay out of the plume and keep as much distance as possible between you and the plume while still doing quality work. Lastly comes Personal

Protective Equipment (PPE). I have several coworkers who must wear respirators as engineering controls are not feasible. We are really saying that we will let the exposure get in their face and hope that the respirator fits and does not leak and has the appropriate cartridges.

urmb
www.urmb.org
 
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