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Old 02-24-2012, 08:26 PM
777funk 777funk is offline
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Is shop air safe for a fresh air breathing system?

I just found a hood that's made for a fresh air system and plugged it into one of my air lines. The hood was super cheap as a surplus item on ebay. But as I did a little homework it looks like there are all sorts of filters to be used to breathe shop air and LOTS of money to be spent on the filters (around $1k for DeVillbiss' filter system).

Currently I have my compressed air running through the HF blue air line filter, then through the airline plumbing with drains every 10 feet or so, to my booth's regulator with a water trap, then through a 10 micron fuel filter for a diesel/gas pump (my particulate filter).

Seems like my missing piece(s) are an oil vapor filter and a coalescing filter. I'm not sure I have much oil in my lines but I'm sure there's some. I'm guessing it's not safe breathing air.

Is anyone on here using shop air for their fresh air respirator? Seems to be common these days but I kind of wonder if it's safe.

In the compressed air system I can think of a few things it's got against it:
1. The compressor gets hot and I can smell the paint heating on the cylinder walls. This paint smell is getting into the intake.
2. Drain the compressor and it's a musty nasty water smell. All compressors have this smell. Some of this fungus and mold has to be in the compressor's air.
3. Oil vapor leaking past the piston rings is hot and atomized. I'm sure a little of this gets in the lines.

All of that makes me a little bit nervous. But then again breathing paint fumes isn't safe either.

Seems like most oil vapor filters are carbon (charcoal) types that absorb contaminants. I'm guessing they work to a decent degree. That's also what the NIOSH resporator masks are so they must work.

Maybe I'm nervous for no reason on this... but I have to admit I'm a little leary of breathing from my compressed air line. Is there something better or am I just nervous for no reason?
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