RESPIRATOR USE Just a little heads up here, for what it's worth. Before I go out in the garage I will always shave, takes just a few minutes. You guys that are going out to your garages after work and are putting on respirators with an at the end of the day stubble. You probably are getting leakage at the seal area. It doesn't take much for a respirator to leak. So, put your respirator on and look in the mirror and take note, where it is actually touching your face. You don't have to worry about your lips and mustache, you're only looking at the part that seals on your face. After you shave take your hand and and brush it up on that seal area, you will probably feel some you have missed, get that off. If you're going to go through the discomfort of wearing one, you might as well make sure it works right. When you're working with one, don't do a lot of talking or squinting or extra head movements, if you can use these respirators like they were intended to be used, after a while it will become part of your routine. Heres a little tip, if you take a pillow case, or steal one out of the house when she goes to the store, lay that on your work bench or table, then when you take your respirator off, set it half way on the pillow case, just fold that pillow case over one time, and you won't have to clean it before you reuse it, because when you put it back in the bag you putting the dust thats on the outside of the respirator right into the bag. Now, don't forget the canisters that have to be sealed in a bag for longevity
RESPIRATORS AND SUPPLIED AIR INFORMATION This is all for information, it is not to be taken as expert advice. I worked in several nuclear power plants and have used half, full face, negative pressure, positive pressure, including supplied air, scba, and battery operated respirators. I am just relating my experience, and am not in any way suggesting anyone should go by what I am putting out here. On occasion I get emails about the supplied air setup I have, so rather then answer each individual question, I will try to give you an overall view of respirators etc. I worked about 18 years in power plants, and each plant will put you through a training session, there all pretty much the same, but I stayed in the same one for 15 years, and I was taught how to operate a fit booth for various respirators, also issued respirators for different types of environments. If anybody is still with me. When you buy a respirator from your body shop supplier, or wherever, remember these guys sell paint and some sell auto parts also. So pay attention to what type of resp. you are buying and it's intended purpose, you should read what the manufacturer says on the respirator and the filters you get with it. Take the time and check it out, look at the expiration dates, these were put on there for a reason, very important. I'm only giving you basic information here. Take the respirator out of the package and put it on, cover up the filter inlet with the palm of your hand, and breathe in, it should suck the respirator tight to your face with no inleakage at all. If it leaks a little try a different size, get one that fits your face.
THIS IS WHAT YOU CALL THE SEAL When we issued respirators at the power plant, sometimes on a daily basis, before you could even be issued one you had to have had some respirator training. If you didn't shave that morning, you knew better than to even ask, so clean shaven is the key, you might get a seal with an end of the day stubble on your face, but you could break that seal while you're working and not even know it. Excessive talking and squinting is one of the easiest way to break the seal and allow outside air into your respirator, so keep the talking and facial movement to a minimum. You see them on television painting with a respirator, these are usually down draft booths with excellent air flow, your hobby shop is a little different environment, usually a lot more fumes, and you can bet these are the top of the line respirators they're using.
HERE'S SOME ON SUPPLIED AIR There is a big difference in supplied air and scba (self contained breathing apparatus). The scba can be worn in an oxygen deficient atmosphere, supplied air should never be worn in this atmosphere Respirators, supplied air, scba all have protection factors. I'm not going into all of that. Supplied air can be used with a half or full face respirator or a hood. I use a sas system, and I don't care what system you buy, this one works good, but it's a few years old, there are other name brands out there, probably one as good as the other. I use the hood with my supplied air, for a couple of reasons, one is I have been in a full face respirator hooked up to supplied air on many occasions, and I don't like to have my chin floating in my own sweat over a four hour period, I have worn all types of respirators. The paper hood is lighter, cooler on your face, don't have to shave, they are nice to use. You can talk and squint and you don't have to worry about breaking your seal. Use caution when placing your supplied air pump, remember it's sucking in the air that you will be breathing, like no cars running around it, mine's in a back room in my house and I can tell what we're having for supper. This is just a little basic overview, some of our body shop experts have put out some real good informatioin on respirators, it wouldn't hurt to look up some of their threads before you start painting or have a lot of rust and filler in the air. On my web site you will see the air pump for my supplied air system, we had environmental air samplers where I used to work, and we learned how to maintain and repair this same type of air pump, they're heavy and can be moved to wherever you want to, I usually leave mine where it is, it is okay with up to 100' of hose. I've used it a lot, and never had a problem. If you buy a supplied air outfit with the hood, the hoods are made of a thicker type paper and are strong but light. They scratch easy on the face piece, so buy a bunch of extra films that stick over the face piece, then a hood will last quite a long time. I wear levis, a tee shirt and sweatshirt and buy the cheaper paper suits at building supply places or your body shop place, vinyl or rubber gloves taped to the paper suit with the hood just tucked inside the paper suit and zipped up tight. I always come out clean. Take care of your respirators, and supplied air and lines and pump, these are the best tools you will ever buy for this kind of work, keep them boxed or wrapped up, but keep them clean. Hope some of this will help somebody, it's a little difficult to write up with just the highlights, there is so much information out there on this.
FRESH AIR RESPIRATORS Heres what I use and it works really good, I guess the nicest thing about it, is you can stand in there as long as you want, don't smell anything, and you don't have the fatigue you get with a full or half face respirator. I have worn respirators in my job in a power plant for the last twenty years, this included a lot of training in scba, supplied air, positive pressure, negative pressure, battery operated respirators, everything out there and how to use and wear them, inspect them, blah blah blah. Am I an authority on them? No, but this unit here works, and you can see with your glasses on, no fogging up, I love it. Spend the money and do it right, you won't be sorry. Hope this gives you a little more information, Rob. SAS #9800-18 System Includes # SAS 9820-00 3/4HP Oil-less Air Pump #SAS 9852-42 50 Feet Lightweight Breathing Air Line #SAS 9818-00 Supplied Air Hood with Belt #SAS 9700-56 Booth Installation Kit Order Lens Covers #SAS 9818-20 Pkg of 10 Replacement Hood #SAS 9818-10 You put this on, a cheap paper suit, rubber or vinyl gloves, you will come out clean. One other thing, get yourself a runner if you are going to paint, they can mix the paint, help you out, a good runner is as good as the painter.