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Breathing Apparatus

Discussion in 'Paints' started by ClusterTruck, Mar 1, 2021.


  1. ClusterTruck

    ClusterTruck Young Tutorling

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    As a beginner (with no mentor), I largely rely on information I can source from magazines and YouTube, but I can honestly say that I completely missed on necessary breathing apparatus required for spraying.

    I mostly spray water based acrylics, and not that long ago when I was just starting I sprayed straight from the bottle, but as I’ve gotten better at understanding my paints I’ve taken to using additives such as reducer, clear coats such as uvls gloss, using airbrush cleaner on a frequent basis, more recently I’ve added ammonia for texturing effects, and I even plan to experiment with urea and candy 2o paints in the not too distant future.

    My point is that beginners should know that when you’re spraying potentially hazardous chemicals, you absolutely need the proper equipment to protect your health.

    I think I’ve got this one licked now, but I’m turning this over to the more experienced members. I think it would be valuable for beginners such as myself to learn what basic safety equipment they should use when spraying certain paints. Are there any hard and fast guidelines, and any recommendations for equipment for hobbyist artists?

    On the plus side, I won’t be catching COVID, at least not while I’m spraying wearing my respirator

    Thanks in advance for any replies to this thread.
    HellBird, Ttxela and jord001 like this.
  2. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja Staff Member Admin Mod Very Likeable!

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    cause you already mentioned covid, I did send the question to 3m which filters are good for Covid.
    I went to my mail to check when I asked them that question. I was wondering if our standard vapor filters which come with dust particles filter as well would be good enough. I was just wondering. Mail was send Mar 17, 2020, 12:01 PM.
    Official 3M answer was that only 2 filters are good enough:

    70071091709 - 6035 filter type P3 R. 80 EA/CASE



    CR180811885 - 2135 filter type P3 R. 80/CASE

    Dust filters are not the issue. How to do good decontamination of mask is an issue... There is an info on their site. Let me just say it takes bunch of work with some chemicals and it is a pita. Now getting this out of way, The biggest issue with respirator we use is a beard...

    Bunch of us don't like to shave :D
    [​IMG]


    And if it is not nice trimmed beard and smooth, mask won't seal. I was happy when I found info about how to do pressure seal test on internet, cause I was always wondering if I wear mask correctly.






    I use 3m mask, this model:
    https://www.air-craft.net/acatalog/3M-7500-Half-Mask.html#SID=23

    and I find it quite comfortable. But I don't use Urethanes and I also don't have a clue about them. I know they are quite harmfull. People use airbrush booths with ventilation and filters. In my case this is not an option cause I am spraying t-shirts. I use Vornado(ventilator) to circle air in my room while I am wearing my respirator and I have open doors from my room so air can get in and out. I need to make something better, didn't have the money for it yet. Buuuuuuuuut it is in a planning faze. lol



    [​IMG]
  3. ClusterTruck

    ClusterTruck Young Tutorling

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    Some really great information there, I hadn’t even considered mask hygiene or how my beard affects the seal. Worth keeping in mind, I’ll need to think again when working with urethanes.

    Maybe just shave a ring around my chin
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  4. Henry Ruiter

    Henry Ruiter Double Actioner

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    Hello everyone I use the 3M mask with A1 filters.

    Thanks Henry

    Sent from my CPH2021 using Tapatalk
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  5. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    good thread, I'll pin it so it stays near the top :).

    As for masks, Yes, we should absolutely wear them even with water based paints. After all, lungs are meant to breath air, not contaminants.
    There are several options, at a minimum it would be the good old dust mask, its better than nothing !
    I use a 'RZ' mask most of the time
    3M is a 'must' if you are spraying urethane, clear coats etc
    I also have a 'CleanSpace' respirator for when I have bad days with my lungs and the RZ is too much like hard work.
    https://cleanspacetechnology.com/cleanspace-2/
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  6. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja Staff Member Admin Mod Very Likeable!

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    decontamination would in theory be needed for covid. Not needed for airbrushing.

    edit: At least I never heard that is needed for airbrushing.
  7. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja Staff Member Admin Mod Very Likeable!

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    here you go ClusterTruck for the sake of this thread.

    How to disinfect a respirator:

    Cleaning and Disinfecting 3M Half and Full Facepieces

    1) Cleaning is recommended after each use. Nitrile or vinyl gloves should be worn during cleaning as well as other personalprotective equipment (PPE) as indicated.

    2) Remove any filters or cartridges. The facepiece may be further disassembled as necessary.

    3) Inspect the facepiece per the User Instructions to identify any damage or excessive wear. Replace components or theentire facepiece as necessary.

    4) Manually clean the facepiece by immersing it in warm water not to exceed 120°F (49°C), and scrub with soft brush untilclean. Add neutral detergent. Do not use cleaners containing lanolin or other oils. NOTE: Solvents and strong detergentsmay damage 3M facepieces and should not be used for cleaning.

    5) Rinse thoroughly with fresh warm water.

    6) Disinfect by soaking, wiping or spraying the facepiece according to the user instructions for the selected disinfectant,including application and contact time. NOTE: Do not soak the HF-800 facepiece in disinfectant solution. The HF-800facepiece has not been tested for compatibility with disinfection by soaking.

    7) Rinse, wipe or spray the facepiece thoroughly with fresh warm water.

    8) Air dry in a non-contaminated area.

    9) Inspect and reassemble the respirator as described in the User Instructions.

    10) The respirator should be stored in a non-contaminated area when not in use.Interim Wipe Cleaning and Disinfection of 3M Half and Full FacepiecesWipe cleaning and disinfection of the facepiece can be considered as an interim method. This method is not to be the only method of cleaning.

    1) If gross contamination or facial oil is present, a cleaning step should be performed before disinfection. Wipe all compo-nents with cleaning solution, including the interior and exterior of the facepiece and head harness.

    2) Wipe the interior and exterior of the facepiece and head harness with the selected disinfectant, following the disinfec-tant user instructions including application and contact time.

    3) Wipe all components with clean water to remove residual chemical.

    4) Air dry or hand dry prior to next use in a non-contaminated area.

    5) Inspect prior to use as described in the User Instructions.

    6) The respirator should be stored in a non-contaminated area when not in use.

    more info here:
    file:///C:/Users/WINDOW~1/AppData/Local/Temp/multimedia.pdf
  8. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja Staff Member Admin Mod Very Likeable!

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  9. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    Great work Husky :thumbsup:
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  10. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja Staff Member Admin Mod Very Likeable!

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    I am trying to do my best for our new members. I learned from you Jackie lol
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  11. Ttxela

    Ttxela Artist of the Month! Artist of the Month! Very Likeable!

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    I think this is definitely an area that deserves more information. a lot of folk seem to paint with no ventilation or repiratory protection at all. Now most of us aren't at work or if we are we aren't employing anyone else so it's generally only our own health we're responsible for so you pays your money and takes your chance to a certain extent.

    If anyone is employing other people to paint and hasn't already given a great deal of thought to repiratory protection then you probably should.....

    My set up is far from ideal and I'm working on a few ideas to improve it, I reckon good ventilation is the first priority. I'm planning on building a booth that draws air away from me through a filter, there's another topic on here with an excellent link on booth design. This is particularly important since although I have a respirator there is no chance I'll be changing my beard anytime soon so I have to accept it will never provide full protection.

    I've had a bit of a play with painting full panels, bonnets and tanks etc. including 2k clear. I used my respirator but reading up on the health issues with 2k paints I think anything less than an air fed mask with an air source outside of the painting area is a bit dicey. I've got a few ideas about this too but I'm not convinced I've got adequate space. Airbrushing is one thing but when you start using full size paint guns the problems increase if you want to properly protect your health and avoid neighbour complaints.

    I'd be particularly interested to see how others approach this....
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  12. fireartist85

    fireartist85 Double Actioner

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    As someone that has been working in the automotive field as a painter for 17 years professionally and also spent a large amount of time as a firefighter and EMT, this has always been a concern of mine. I have left jobs working on some amazing stuff for very well paying clients because the shop owner was not worried about the well being of the employees. That being said, the 3M masks that everyone buys and wears for painting, whether it be the disposable type or one with replaceable filters are only good for what is considered organic vapors. This is good for base-coats, no matter if it is water-based or solvent based. The problem with these types of masks for that scenario, is people don't change the filters or store the mask properly to give the filters the correct lifespan of safe use. People assume that if they can't smell the paint, then they are protected. This is in-fact false, and companies like 3M have patches that the painters wear during their day to see their level of exposure. This then correlates to how often the filters need to be replaced. Now again, these are for masks that clearly state for organic vapors. Not a dust mask. A dust mask, while perhaps stopping the inside of your nose from changing colors, does absolutely nothing for stopping paint vapor. You need to have a mask that is designed for that purpose. Now once you get into anything that has a hardener, catalyst or activator incorporated (i.e. primer surfacer, sealer, activated base-coats, clear-coats) the only proper protection is a fresh air supplied mask or helmet. A mask rated for organic vapors does not protect against these, as they do not block the isocyanates. While almost all painters you'll ever see will clear a car or whatever with just that normal face mask, they are being exposed to the chemicals. With that being said, the protection goes beyond just the mask. If you only wear a half mask, your eyes are exposed. The paint goes through your mucus membranes into your nervous system. Gloves are important. They stop the solvents from going through your skin and into your blood stream, in turn making there way to your liver and nervous system. A paint suit that protects against isocyanates is a must have for the same reason. Now for airbrushing, are we going to sit there in a full suit and fresh air, no. If you're clearing a bunch of parts or a car, then yes, protect yourself. I have had friends and teachers over the years that have preached the importance of wearing the proper PPE because they were seeing the ill effects first hand. My shop teacher back in high school had to leave the building if we were clearing anything, even in a full down draft spray booth because he had developed an extreme sensitivity to isocyanates. I have had friends that can not stop shaking because of the solvents and exposure to isocyanates. Another friend is in remission from cancer directly related to his exposure to paints over the course of his career. I myself have noticed odd effects and things that just didn't seem right both mentally and physically from the years that I spent in the trade where I was not properly protected. And once that damage is done, it is irreversible. There is not going back. I now work in a high end bodyshop with full fresh air system, everything is sanded with a vacuum system in a prep deck and we are all protected throughout the process. We can't do this if we're sick. Even with airbrushing small amounts with a paint like Createx that is "non-toxic", you need to protect yourself as our lungs can not filter that stuff out and over time, you will have damage.
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  13. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    Nice to hear first hand information from someone who has been directly involved and has seen the bad side of not being cautious.

    We get complacent when dealing with 'water-borne' products because as you say there is minimal odour, but masking up is definitely advised !
    As someone who has COPD I can attest to the 'no going back' comment. you can slow the progression of issues but you can't reverse them.
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  14. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja Staff Member Admin Mod Very Likeable!

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    great post :thumbsup:
  15. ClusterTruck

    ClusterTruck Young Tutorling

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    Fantastic insight, thank you for sharing the benefit of your experience with all of us. In fact thank you to everyone who has participated so far, some really great input from everyone, and it’s actually amazing to me just the sheer wealth of experience of the people on this forum.
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