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Old 02-10-2004, 05:24 PM
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Respirators & Isocyanates

The ongoing thread about respirators to be used with the current crop of isocyanate containing BC/CC paints has lead me to some in depth research. I investigated 3M's line of organic vapor cartridges and was shocked to learn NONE of 3M's cartridges are rated for isocyanate. The only way to protect yourself is a positive pressure full face mask. They also advise a full body suit, including head when spraying.

See this discussion.
http://www.paintstore.com/archives/respirators/108.html

Even though the MSDS sheet for all the BC/CC paints leads us to believe that an organic vapor cartridge respirator is suitable, it is not. Read the small print on 3M's respirator cartridges.....please, for the sake of your lungs.


Vince

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Old 02-10-2004, 10:58 PM
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Thanks Vince, a great post!
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Old 02-11-2004, 02:13 PM
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Back when Imron first came out. I sprayed a lot of it with a home made supplied air mask and I still have symptoms from the experience! Several painters in the Michigan area died from using just a face filter mask. I just got the wheezies sometimes.
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Old 02-11-2004, 04:22 PM
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Today I did a little research on what it would take to upgrade my compressor to class "D" breating air. One of the requirements is an carbon monoxide detector. I though, my compressor is electric, why on earth would I need a carbon monoxide detector. Turns out that if your compressor is oil lubricated when it gets hot like when it is used a lot, a slight amount of oil actually burns off the cylinders creating carbon monoxide. A HEPA filter is also a nice addition. Also a high temp interlock for head temp. I figured it might be worth the conversion, then a buddy at work told me about the firm that supplies and recharges our air packs. I called them, and I can rent a six pack of breathing air bottles for $45, a one time charge. One cylinder about the size of a welding oxygen bottle will last about 2 or 3 hours. I already have a Scott positive pressure full face mask. I am really considering going this route.

Vince
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Old 02-11-2004, 06:29 PM
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Here is the other respirator link mentioned.
http://hotrodders.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=33548
ItoldyaItoldyaItoldya........
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Old 02-12-2004, 05:21 PM
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Filter type respirators are used every day and seem to be ok most of the time BUT why take the risk? A hobby air system just does not cost all that much when compared to a gallon of premium paint. IF you can get a good seal and IF your filters are fresh and IF the concentrations are not too high then you will PROBABLY be ok for a while but again why risk it? The cost of a good positive air supply is nothing compared to the possible problems that could occur, believe me when I tell you that it is not worth it! I say again work safe,if you take chances you could very well come to regret it.
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Old 02-13-2004, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by oldred
Filter type respirators are used every day and seem to be ok most of the time BUT why take the risk?
Read the info sheet on the cartridge, I will bet it excludes isocyanates.

Vince
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Old 02-13-2004, 09:52 PM
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What 3M would like to print on those labels and what NIOSH will allow them is two totally different things.

Ive done my research, talked to the 3M NATIONAL safety rep and others that have WAY more knowledge then me. They all say those filters WILL protect you from Iso's but cant list them as approved because of one very simple reason. That reason is HUMAN ERROR. In order for that mask to fit right you can have NO facial hair, be fit tested, that mask needs to be fresh(ONLY 8hr exposure time) and be used in an area within the limits.

Those are HUGE areas to try and fill just so you can label an item APPROVED. By simply labeling them NOT safe they are covering their own arse on the deal. Because in this sue happy world all it will take is someone to get hurt or killed to sue 3M.

Yes I highly suggest a fresh air unit but also know NOT every home painter will spend 600 bucks on a unit when they cant justify spending 200 more on good paint vs the value line.

Oldred, I KNOW where you are coming from. 5 years ago I got zinc oxide posioning from welding. To make a long story short I now suffer daily side effects and facing the possible lung(s) transplant within a few years if these new meds dont work.

It is NOT WORTH it one bit, I wish I knew the facts years ago but was too stupid to pay attention

If you follow the guidelines and make sure that mask fits and you USE IT IN THE MANNER IT WAS MEANT TO BE USED IN you will be fine.
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Old 02-14-2004, 08:33 AM
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I hear what you are saying, and I understand, but the literature on 3M's entire line of organic vapors filter cartridges specifically excludes isocyanate. Granted, they also state disqualifies you mentioned for all the other chemicals they do remove effectively, when the environmental and fit limits are violated.

Isocyanate is odorless, so the old method of ,"if you can't smell the paint your ok", is useless. You could be inhaling a damaging amount of isocyanate and not even realize it, until you have wrecked your lungs.

I have noticed that on the American Hotrod series that Boyd's painter Charlie uses a filter mask when spraying primer, but switches to a positive pressure mask when applying BC/CC. This is in the optimum conditions of a properly engineered paint booth.

Common sense should always be used, and a new set of filters should always IMO be used anytime spraying paint. A good fit is essential, and the concentration should be factored. However the specific exclusion of isocyanate in the chemicals listed is a "red flag" to me. I'm am not willing to take a chance, even if it is just a legal qualifier for 3M.

Great post though
Thanks
Vince
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