Melw45

Respirator with beards

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I went to get a respirator and the one I was looking at said not to use with beards.

I cant be the only guy with a beard that needs one. So what are you other bearded guys useing.

Thanks

Mel

 

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I hate to admit I still don't have one. I was looking for a while but since I have more hair on my face than I do on my head I haven't found anything that says it'll work. Of course I could alway buy one and fit it mark around it and shave where it sits. My wife gave me a look when I first told her that :) 

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Melw

There is not a resporator that is spec'ed for beards due to leakage.  All the guys at the plant had to shave when the new dust/air policy was brought out first of the year.  Passed our OSHA air quality test a couple of months back. Thank goodness some of those boys looked pretty funny.  Better to wear something than nothing.  

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old trick... really dirty but it will form a good bond. put petroleum jelly on your beard.... A couple of the old timers I used to work with told me about it at my previous job. I had to wear a specialized respirator for a machine that I ran because of the coolant spray. It works well. but your beard will be nasty by the end of day. As an upside though it is a decent beard conditioner.

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Thanks for the replys.

I have been looking around and found a battery powered dust mask from rockler.

It is marketed to woodworkers. At $74.99 it is the lowest priced powered filter I have found.

There are some around the same price point on eBay. They use air form a shop air compressor. It has what looks like both a water and oil trap and a carbon filter.

May have to try the Vaseline trick.

Mel

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Depending on what your respirator is made of, petroleum jelly can degrade the gasket over time. You might look into a water-based equivalent (of which there are many varieties intended for purposes upon which we cannot elaborate on a family-friendly forum).

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As part of the mandate that all state DOT employees must have safety equipment as first responders in disasters we had to have some pretty high end respirators and no beards allowed. PERIOD. We as a group laughed at the mid management office dork Statey who told us so with such grim seriousness. During the two day class in disaster response procedures were demos of why you can't seal a respirator over a beard. The sugar water mist wasn't bad but even grease didn't prevent it getting in. An old hand told us about the trick.

So we lied and said we couldn't smell it. The consequence was . . . the State Safety officer conducting the respirator fitting session Maced us. Who would've believed Mace is a truth serum! Honest. We got away with our beards by keeping a shaving kit in our lockers. Happily there were no disasters while I was working Highways Maintenance. 

The best non-approved respirator I know of is a clean garden hose one end in your mouth the other leading outside to clean air. Breath in through the hose, out through the nose. For serious badness I have a 3M Whitecap II, supplied air welding helmet. A real  Helmet, not just a shield. Thing's even air conditioned, sweet but heavy and a PITA getting on and off.

Frosty The Lucky.

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There's also something called a Resp-O-Rator, which is a kind of over-the-shoulder snorkel arrangement with filters. A web search will give you images and reviews.

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2 hours ago, JHCC said:

There's also something called a Resp-O-Rator, which is a kind of over-the-shoulder snorkel arrangement with filters. A web search will give you images and reviews.

That looks promising.

Thanks

Mel

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I know a bunch of knifemakers who have built a positive pressure system that works at their grinder.  Fan outside in a clean location screened against wasps (amusing story by a fellow who *didn't*!) PVC pipe along the ceiling and then a flexable hose drop to a hardhat with face shield 

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10 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

I know a bunch of knifemakers who have built a positive pressure system that works at their grinder.  Fan outside in a clean location screened against wasps (amusing story by a fellow who *didn't*!) PVC pipe along the ceiling and then a flexable hose drop to a hardhat with face shield 

That sounds pretty nifty, although I imagine there could be issues in an area with harsher winters. Would an indoor rig with furnace-type filters work as well?

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On 8/5/2017 at 9:07 PM, Melw45 said:

I went to get a respirator and the one I was looking at said not to use with beards.

I cant be the only guy with a beard that needs one. So what are you other bearded guys useing.

Thanks

Mel

 

Any job that requires a respirator be used will require you to shave. Refineries especially wont allow you on the premises  (as per federal law) with facial hair beyond a mustache.

What you do on your own is your business but you're not likely to get a good seal.

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I made a resp-o-rator type air filter once. It's amazing how much moisture you exhale, not to mention just having a mouthpiece in my mouth produced an abundance of saliva. I hadn't accounted for that and in a very short while, the thing was dripping profusely.

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you might want to consider trimming your beard back. 

Even in the 80's firefighters were not supposed to have beards to wear SCBA. Dont use patrolium jelly either, it just becomes a mess and its a pain to clean your mask afterward. When you put your mask on, cover the air inlet area and suck in. if the mask sucks to your face and you dont get leakage its a good seal. If not, then get a bit of a sweat going and try again and tighten it up. If still no joy then, youre makin a date with a razor friend. 

make sure you get the proper respirator too. if your worried about very small particulates like asbestos, get the p100 filters. nothing else will be good enough. if you are worried about fumes and toxins like zinc fumes, you are getting some sort of full face self-contained breathing apparatus and those are VERY expensive (like $4000+). Or if you have SCUBA gear use that for fumey work. its the same thing just rated for under water.

OSHA and WIISHA and whoever your local safety people will say no beard, period. I have wolverine style sideburns (more like he has Bubba Nash style sideburns) and i was told to shave by Labor and Industries. 

remember, you cant work without your lungs. be safe.

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I have one of these masks on order.

I will be looking in to converting it to a blower based fresh air system If that is not feasible I may have to shave.:(

 

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Mel

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Galvy isn't nearly as toxic as public opinion says, zinc oxide is in fact a necessary nutrient. Breathing it however is a BAD thing but nothing compared to breathing say Cadmium, Beryllium, Chrome, and a couple other COMMON plating metals. Cadmium is insidiously TOXIC and doesn't maybe cause cancer, Hexavalent Chrome is carcinogenic, very. and Beryllium has number of ways it's  BAD to get in you.

Grinding or burning isn't the only way to make whatever you are working with airborne, etches can give off daughter compounds that can be really bad. What you etch with can make a big difference too.

So, yes a good respirator and good ventilation is highly desirable if you like being healthy and living to see your kids graduate high school.

John: If you're going to wing a Resp O Rator you inhale through your mouth and exhale through your nose so you don't soak the filters with exhaled water.

Frosty The Lucky.

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It depends on the quality of the mask and the length of beard. I run a beard usually 1 to 2 inches long, and I have no issues getting a good face mask to seal on my face. No chance of getting a seal with one of those disposable paper P2 masks. If you had a bushy beard to your chest I doubt you would ever be able to get a good seal, (unless you could tuck it in to the mask somehow)  but not having tried it I cant say that for sure.

Note - I don't use a respirator when I forge, but when I am grinding, so that is only dust minimisation. But when the missus makes me clean the bathroom with bleach, I can assure you my respirator works just fine! :rolleyes:

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A positive pressure respirator may be the best way to go. I have some I picked up at a DRMO auction. They have a full face mask with a hose going to a battery pack on your belt that has the filter cartridges. I have also seen the ones with an air hose, but you have a clean air compressor to use those. 

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NEVER EVER use a regular shop compressor to supply breathing air. Oil in the compressor can and OFTEN does combust, poorly, make carbon monoxide. You will then go to sleep, and maybe permanently.

The seal line on most masks is along the ridge of the jaw. Facial hair will prevent a seal. greasing down the hair will improve the seal, but not perfect the seal. How much of the stuff outside the mask do you care to breath?

OSHA always requires that engineering controls be used first. Simply said, remove the threat BEFORE it reaches the worker. So local exhaust would be the first choice. A 125 foot per minute movement of air across the point of generation  into an exhaust duct will capture the threat smoke, fume etc. Now as we have long ago learned with coal smoke the farther away the exhaust pipe is the more air has to flow to capture the smoke. Put a 1" duct right at the MIG gun nozzle, and the mig fume is GONE. These are production items, used in factories. They work. Grinding? use a duct right under the wheel/belt. The particles are already moving in the right direction. Put a flip over door on the duct and one small fan can suck the dust up from many points as only one needs that magic 125FPM.

How big a fan you ask? do a little math, a 4" by 4" duct opening has 16 square inches and 16 divided by 144= .11  that .11 times 125 = 13.88 CFM fan if all friction in the duct is ignored. I would happily use a small say 20cfm blower rated for suction. I would run that duct into the center of a 5 gallon bucket with 1/4 fill of water. The duct would enter vertically down and stop about 3/8 to 1/2" above the water. I would have an exit to the blower from the top of the bucket. The velocity of particals downward would cause them to impact the water rather than do a 180 degree turn to exit. I would still pipe the exhaust from the blower outside, both for noise and for that odd bit that gets by the water. In effect this is a poor man's metal dust collector as has been built by many vendors for maybe 80 years.

Why wear a respirator with a beard and not have it seal if you can remove the threat this way. I don't have a beard, don't grind that much but have a P-100 respirator for when I do. Weld smoke is exhausted in my shop by general ventilation via a 3500 cfm fan causing a cross flow of air across my weld table.

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On 08/26/2017 at 10:32 AM, Tommie Hockett said:

I may have missed it. So i do apologize if I did. But what kind of metal are you working with that you need a respirator?

ie; galvanized?

I am setting up a 2x72 grinder/sander. Breathing metal dust might aggravate my asthma. All joking aside metal dust is bad juju!

I am still waiting for the mask. Last tracking had it out for delivery then changed to incomplete address.

I called the usps and used the tracking number to schedule a delivery and gave the robo phone machine my correct address.

Here is hoping it worked.

Mel

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Honestly, I wonder if those big hoods aren't a bit overkill for general grinding.  I can see where you have some gases that might get you, but I've never been a proponent of full-face respirators because they always fog my glasses.  That, and I can't imagine that my work area is any more dangerous than the general world in terms of particular size or PPM.

That said, I've used a Wolfsnout All Sport Off-Road dust mask when I'm going to be grinding a lot.  With my shop being rather open and a fan running to circulate the air and bring new air in, I think the Wolfsnout mask is about all I need.  It's a fantastic bit of kit, and the only mask I've ever found that doesn't leave me blind in a few seconds.  I can grind for hours with the thing on, and I never notice it, really.  Even with my beard, I don't feel like I'm breathing in any particulate and the boogers ain't black.

For as cheap as the things are, I wasn't expecting much.  But I had to do some work under the house and didn't want all that dust dropping down on me when I was driving nails.  Very happy I found the things.

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