When it comes to choosing the right respirator or dust mask, it all comes down to the job you're trying to tackle. To be safe, you should always consider using a respirator if you'll be exposed to biological contaminants, dusts, mists, fumes, and gases, or oxygen-deficient atmospheres according to OSHA. There are two types of respirators: air-purifying respirators and atmosphere-supplying respirators. Air-purifying respirators use filters, cartridges, or canisters to remove contaminants from the air. Atmosphere-supplying respirators provide clean air from an uncontaminated source. Below are a few respirators we recommend based on the job you plan to use them for and the types of contaminants you'll likely face. Multi-Use The Moldex 7000 Half Mask Respirator and 7640 Cartridge Combination provides multi-hazard protection especially when doing yard work, home remodeling and cleaning, or hobbies involving sawdust, paint, chemical odors, or other debris and small particles. It complies with NIOSH standards and OSHA regulations. Lead & Asbestos Removal When seeking protection against asbestos, lead and cadmium dusts, we suggest the 3M 6000 Lead & Asbestos Respirator Combination. It's ideal for use at indoor shooting ranges, when welding, working on older heating vents/ducts, 'popcorn' ceilings, automotive break linings or pip insulation. Mold Remediation The Moldex 9000 Full Face Respirator Combination may be fit for you if you want protection against the following: asbestos, mold, ammonia, chlorine (bleach), chlorine dioxide, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen sulfide, methylamine, organic vapors, sulfur dioxide, and formaldehyde. Additional safety tips involving respirators:
- Replace When Needed - Follow suggested instructions on doing so, especially for disposable respirators. If it becomes difficult to breathe, there's the possibility that the filters could be clogged. Respirators, filters or canisters that are dirty or damaged should just be thrown away.
- Smells - Change filters if you notice any changes in smells and/or tastes, or if your skin or lungs become irritated. If your skin continues to stay irritated after changing the filters, check out our previous blog post on choosing respirators geared towards those with sensitive skin.
- Keep facial hair short - Sporting a full beard while wearing a respirator can be problematic for most respirators. Long facial hair can limit the effectiveness of a respirator's seal to the face. You will need to consider a full hood or helmet system like the Allegro EZ Air Pro PAPR system.
- Don't just rely on the respirator - Be sure to work in a well-ventilated area when possible to help minimize airborne contaminants. To help ventilate a confined space, try one of the top selling ventilators we carry.