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Urban Exploration Safety Equipment

April 13, 2011 Respiratory
3M, 6000, 7500, Half Facepiece Respirator, Pigeon Lung

Our customers encounter all sorts of things while out working, exploring, and home improving. Here is a recent question I recently got demonstrating just that:

I am excited to start a program called Urban Exploration. This group explores all sorts of places, like abandoned buildings or underground spaces. In doing this I will be exposed to a number to harmful substances like dust, asbestos and dried animal dung. Any suggestions on how I can protect my health, yet still join in the fun?

underground exploration

I recommend the 3M 6000 respirator mask or the more comfortable silicon 7500 half facepiece mask. Both will work the same, but the 7500 is more comfortable if worn for an extended period.

Some of the stuff you may be exposed to while doing this sort of exploration can get in your eyes so I would definitely recommend goggles. The Uvex S350 will fit over prescription glasses, while the Pyramex G704T fits tighter to the face. Both will work well in this situation. We have several other goggle type glasses that would work, and the preference is usually just that, preference.

As far as filters go I recommend the 3M 7093 P100 (HEPA) Filter. This filter is enclosed in a plastic case. This is great when working with dangerous dusts or particulates like asbestos, because the risk of the particles falling out and being breathed back in later is a lot lower. Among the nasty dusts we can run into in abandoned buildings would be mold spores, and Hantavirus from rodent droppings.

As an alternative, a full face respirator would work instead of goggles and a half facepiece mask. But for a very active type activity, it will probably not be as comfortable an option and not be as inexpensive.

As always, feel free to contact us with questions about your specific application. Happy exploring!