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Old 10-14-2006, 04:36 PM
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Fresh air respirators

I am thinking about investing in a fresh air respirator for my newly built paint area. I plan on hobby painting about 4 cars a year. Anyone have expirience with this 3m unit?. It has a battery powered blower on the belt, seems pretty hi-tech, and sounds pretty neat, but 1500 $. ow. I feel it may be worth it though.

Here is the link to the 3m listing , a long one....

http://www3.3m.com/catalog/us/en001/...er/output_html

Mark

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Old 10-14-2006, 05:03 PM
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Try this site

Mark,
We beat this to death a couple of months ago.

Take a look at this:
http://autobodystore.net/Merchant2/m...tegory_Code=HP

And this is the discussion:

respirators and supplied air

Lotsa good stuff here

Dave
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Old 10-15-2006, 01:20 AM
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With all due respect, I don't agree this topic has been beat to death to a degree that earlier discussions answer Mark's question. Yes, we've discussed the merits and demerits of home made solutions and hobby solutions. The misuse of 3M charcoal masks has also been debated in the past. The 3M organic mask is quite popular in professional circles but it amounts to a product misuse. That product use mostly works out because of great ventilation in professional booths. None of this addresses Marks question.

The charcoal masks are not approved for Iso as explained in the earlier discussions. The hobby entry units are safer but the poor visibility and severe inconveniance of the garden hose tether was not described. I have a hobby unit and the hood makes it impossible to clearly see the quality of spray out. Even before overspray collects on the lens, the optical quality of the hood lens is horrible. Through bifocal glasses and with poor vision I find the hobby unit to be problematic where it harms results. The half mask does not protect vision or iso exposure to the eyes.

Mark asks about the wisdom of spending up for a higher end system from 3M. I wish I could answer with personal experience with that gear but I've never used it. I think $1500 is a bargain to avoid the catastrophe of lifelong disabililtly from isocyanate exposure. Isocyanate concentration in a home booth is high and unknown. I do think Mark's question merits more answers and I don't think discussion should be cut off just because it was a topic before. Lets try to keep an open mind and keep information flowing.
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Old 10-15-2006, 02:18 AM
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Firebird Red, what kind of a hobby unit do you have, I have a sas and I can see perfect in it.

Rob

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Old 10-15-2006, 07:47 AM
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I also have the SAS system, with a full face mask, and have no problem seeing. My system uses filters to clean the incoming air of moisture and oil from the compressor. It has replaceable shield tearoffs, so that is a plus.

I have seen the 3M systems used by paint reps. I just have a problem with the fact that they are carrying around the pump, that is supposed to filter out the dangerous stuff that is all around them. Basically, to me, they are no better than a respirator. I have not checked, but have been told that the filters for them have to be replaced regularly, and are pricey too.

Kind of seems like a Very Expensive Respirator to me. You have to remember that they are also using them in Commercial Paint Booths, that are supposed to have better ventilation than you would have at home.

Aaron
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Old 10-15-2006, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firebird_red
With all due respect, I don't agree this before. Lets try to keep an open mind and keep information flowing.
While not trying to be argumentative , I posted a link to only one of the several on the subject that was most recent - and IMHO, feel that this subject has been discussed from many different directions. The 3M unit was not discussed as there was no one that was involved with any of the discussions I responded to or searched was using it.

An opinion w/o ever seeing one is that the cost of constantly replacing filters could be expensive as could replacement battery packs if not properly maintained according to 3M's instructions.

And lastly and what I feel is the most important as far as personal safety, this system draws air directly from the spray area, really at your waist, 1 to 3 feet from the spray gun, rather than air outside of the painting area. This, in a case of filtration malfunction, could cause a health issue. Any of the solvents as well as ISO's in today's automotive paint can cause serious and permanent health problems .

I use a Hobbyaire mounted in the basement supplying household air thru piping to their supplied hose then to my hood. It is a reasonably priced unit @$405 delivered to my home.
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Old 10-15-2006, 10:29 AM
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The most important thing with what ever system you have is air movement. A garage full of overspray is a death chamber. Make sure you get that over spray out of the area you are in, THAT is where most people fail.

Brian
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Old 10-15-2006, 03:08 PM
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Good point Brian, but not easy to do.

If a hobbist could afford a downdraft booth that would help, but without that, its put a bigger fan in and a extra large filtration system, and then really suck the fumes out.

But that won't work because them you are bringing in extra dirt and a lot of air blowing over the spray is not goood either.

What we have here is a lot of hobbists painting at home, fumes, bondo dust etc.

Until somebody comes up with a practical way to get these fumes out, we need to know how to deal with them safely.

Any hobbist that is painting at home needs to educate himself on how to deal with these death chambers, a strong word by Brian, but very true.

I will give it my best shot here, and hopefully others can add or detract, and sort it out one more time.

So lets address the fumes, not how to get rid of them, but how to deal with them safely.

This is long, and I will repeat and copy and paste some other stuff I have put on this and other car forums, so here goes.

respirators and supplied air

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 occasin 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 invironments.

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 manufacture 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 then 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 aminimum.

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 there using.

Heres 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 supplyied 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, mines in a back room in my house and I can tell what were 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 there 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, there 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.

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.

Heres more.

Lets look at fumes in your garage, and airborne radioactivity in a nuclear power plant. Two different types of airborne contaminats, but yet present the same problem.

A nuclear power plant has some of the best engineered systems known to man to control them and keep them out of the environment and they do contain them.

But inside the controlled area on occasion you will have to grind or weld on radioactive metal, so when you grind on this you create airborne contaminats.

This means, its in the air, like your garage or homemade booth, so they have to work in it just like we do. Different contaminats, but still airborne.

Thats why power plants have extensive training in respiratory equipment and how to use it.

Supplied air is used when they expect a lot of airborne contaminats and also radioactive dust and dirt.

They have monitors to check for inhalation and radioactive particles and dust that you have to pass through to get out of a controlled area and into the general areas of a power plant.

You can have radioactive air in a controlled area of a power plant that you cannot see, yet detect it with monitors.

Those areas are not accessable with out work plans, permits, job briefings, training on how to dress for it and how to undress getting out of a radioactive area. In other words, very tight controls in every aspect.

So, if a power plant can deal with it effectively, then how can we with out extensive training.

One of the major differences, they have to keep radioactive dust, we'll use the word dust, from getting out of the room there working in and out into the hallway where they exit the dust area.

They do this by training on how to undress with out spreading any dust around, its a very precise routine on what garmet of clothing to take off first. etc. Then the exit area is monitored to make sure everything stays clean.

We don't have the undressing problem they do.

So back to fumes in the booth.

Using supplied air in your garage or homemade booth.

Don't assune you have a hundred percent protection factor with supplied air.

There can be problems with bad air at the intake of your pump, air line connector problems, and problems with the hood connection.

If you are going to use supplied air, have somebody around watching you through a window or whatever, especially when you;re dealing with a lot of fumes.

The unit I have doesn't have a monitor to check the incoming air for any contaminats or quality of air I'm breathing, so pump placement is very important, and keeping any bad air from getting to the pump. Things can change your air quality, car running by it, a lot of things.

I put on a cheap paper suit, rubber or vinyl gloves taped to the paper suit, and the hood tucked inside the suit.

I use mine for painting and sandblasting a lot.

When you're working with supplied air, always be aware of an equipment malfunction, and your nose is your best guide, if you can smell fumes while you're working with it, get out of the area, because something on it has failed.

To repeat here, keep all your air lines clean on the outside, box up your hoods, keep it clean, take care of the best tool you will ever have for painting cars.

Supplied air will give you excellent protection, I have sprayed and had fumes so thick, my buddy asked me how I could see to paint, but when you're next to a car you can see just fine, even if it doesn't look like it.

When I'm in those situations I haven't smelled any paint fumes at all through it, and I come out clean.

All of us on these car forums need to read and learn all we can on this, and no matter who you are or what you think, if there is a new or better way to do this, share it, no matter what it is.

I know I repeated a lot of stuff, but I do the old two fingered typing.

Hope some of this helps.

Rob

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Last edited by robs ss; 10-15-2006 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 10-15-2006, 09:31 PM
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My favorite breathable-air set-up was a compressed air filter. This unit filtered and monitored compressed air from the shop compressor. One if the big pluses about this unit was that I could also spray with it. No fish-eyes or contaminants to the gun or me. We one line off the booth wall to me. I placed a T on my belt with a 5ft whip for the gun on one side and a regulator and cool-tube to the helmet(Sata full-face hood) on the other. I found it much easier to drag around one hose instead of two. Yes, I had to change tear-offs regularly. I also found that cutting out the permanent clear lens behind the tear-offs helped cut down on glare. Looking through two layers of clear plastic causes alot of glare. In my opinion, There is no way we could spend to much time discussing PPE (Personal Protection Equipment).
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Old 10-16-2006, 04:30 AM
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CMC... That sounds like basically the same set-up I have. There is a filter system that attaches to a belt. The incomming air attaches to it. There is an air line from that to the gun, and a hose to the respirator. I have the fullface unit, although am thinking about getting the hood.

I like only having one hose to drag around.

Aaron
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Old 10-18-2006, 08:54 PM
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You guys have posted some incredible information! Thank you so much. I have been digesting and re-reading the posts in my off time for a couple of days now.

For now I am undecided, but, feel much more informed on most fresh air respirtory systems, and leaning toward a SAS brand with hood, rather than the battery pack 3m unit. I think I can deal with the extra fresh air hose. I plan on setting up the intake in another room or maybe from and outside source.

In my searching, I found SAS respirator components but not complete kits. I will look a little harder.

Mark
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Old 10-18-2006, 09:40 PM
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SAS 9800-18

Shipped to Portland is about 35 bucks. Which is a good deal because this sucker is heavy. Best price I know of on the internet is here

http://search.cartserver.com/search/...00-18&go=GO%21

Got one of these myself and I love it.
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Old 10-18-2006, 11:29 PM
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I used my supplied air this afternoon, ground a bunch of welds, don't even know you have a hose hanging behind you, there nice, with the hood you can put your head right inside the trunk, no dirt or fumes, clean.

The little plastic face shields come ten in a pack, tape one on your hood, then when you're done grinding, take her off, and you're hood is still good.

I was looking at all the grinding dust in the trunk and on the shop floor, I'll put the supplied air on to clean and vac the shop.

I was out there about five hours, and when I went in the house, looked in the mirror, don't have that dirt around my nostrels, eyes don't burn, plus a regular respirator will really tire you out, the cloth hoods are really light, I guess by reading all this you know how much I like mine.

Rob

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Old 10-19-2006, 07:21 AM
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Rob, Very good point about the grinding dust, it's scary how many people will pick up a grinder without giving a second thought to respiratory protection. When you think of how much of that grinding disk that will disappear into the air around you and what it consists of, never mind all the paint, rust and other crap coming off of what they are grinding on, it should be apparent that a good respirator is very important here also. The microscopic particles contained in a sanding or grinding disk can cause lung damage similar to silicosis but this is one safety area that is all too often overlooked.
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Old 10-20-2006, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robs ss
I used my supplied air this afternoon, ground a bunch of welds, don't even know you have a hose hanging behind you, there nice, with the hood you can put your head right inside the trunk, no dirt or fumes, clean.

The little plastic face shields come ten in a pack, tape one on your hood, then when you're done grinding, take her off, and you're hood is still good.

I was looking at all the grinding dust in the trunk and on the shop floor, I'll put the supplied air on to clean and vac the shop.

I was out there about five hours, and when I went in the house, looked in the mirror, don't have that dirt around my nostrels, eyes don't burn, plus a regular respirator will really tire you out, the cloth hoods are really light, I guess by reading all this you know how much I like mine.

Rob

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Rob,

Good idea on the plastic face shields and hood for grinding metal. Saves the lens of the hood I'm sure, and much better protection of chance of flying metal getting past safety glasses and getting stuck in eye. Which, has happened to me more than once

Can the hood really take hot cutting sparks say from being near a cut off saw or grinder ? ( I would think the lens would get pitted through the tear off 's)

Where do you get the plastic hood shields/tear-off 's?

Thanks,

Mark
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