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PAPR's and other respiratory protection in 2018----masks, etc. What do you use?

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  • PAPR's and other respiratory protection in 2018----masks, etc. What do you use?

    Hello all----It's been a while, but I just got a new welding job (again), so I'm back on here.

    Who uses PAPR's? As a former respiratory care student (not kidding!!) I think everyone who enjoys breathing and finds functional lungs to be useful should be using one, unless you are welding under a fume hood all the time.

    If you use a PAPR, mask, or have tried various ones or use some other respirator, I'd be very interested in your opinions in either the one you own or ones you've tried. The place I'll be working is like a lot of old factories----not too up-to-date with nice fume hoods, etc. A common comment is 'we've been checked out and our air quality is good!' Oh REALLY?? Tell me---did they stick their probe into the metal fumes I'll be breathing or just some random corner of the shop?? Big difference!! It's a good line for manufacturers to avoid the responsibility and cost IMHO.

    Anyway-----I'll probably see how they set up the area I'll be working in. They said they have a smoke sucker of some sort I could use 'if I wanted'. Depending on how it seems to be after a while, I may end up just using my own respirator or buying a PAPR, depending on how it goes.

    Another thing to note is that, historically, a LOT of welders are ALSO smokers, as we all probably know, so to them, the effects of the additional welding fumes are probably not nearly as noticeable, since they are accustomed to inhaling smoke voluntarily all the time anyway and always having a cough, etc.
    Last edited by MarkG; 11-01-2018, 07:18 PM.

  • #2
    "Another thing to note is that, historically, a LOT of welders are ALSO smokers, as we all probably know, so to them, the effects of the additional welding fumes are probably not nearly as noticeable, since they are accustomed to inhaling smoke voluntarily all the time anyway and always having a cough, etc."

    How old are you Mark and were you ever a smoker? Because as a former respiratory care student, I'm giving you credit on that basis alone. But your post, rubbed me the wrong way. Always having a cough? Cat hair from the pussies?

    Me, pack a day. I recently had a lung function test completed and just wish to clear a few things up. First off, it was done to compare to a base line from 20 years ago. Secondly, I still have a strong set of lungs.
    Not all of us are made equal. Sad to say but true.
    Some have a set of lungs that barely pump, and some run marathons like a pump jack pumping.
    My old man was a smoker. He died from a fall in a care facility 85. It wasn't going for a smoke it was a wet floor in a bath room.
    My mother as well a smoker. 83. Blood cancer. Her biggest joy in life was smoking. Sad but true.

    Now I'm 62. I still smoke and I still weld. The point I wish to make is welding fumes, like smoking, have contributing factors that must be taken into account before you can say we're going to die from smoking or welding? Regular or kings? Down to the filter or waste the last inch? Filtered or un filtered? Are you hot boxing in the smoking room or outside in the free air? Stand up wind or down wind while welding? Where does most of it go, have you asked that question when your standing out side breathing particulate matter?

    You mention the taking of air quality samples. Well, they have standards for that. Some are taken from the operators breathing zone and some in the shop space. Some welding operations have a heavy fume generation and other have a lessor fume rate. A number of factors come into play before guidelines are reached or exceeded.
    I'm reminding of rule number one, look after your self because not many care to do it for you once you leave home?

    Wear a respirator. Be grateful they took the asbestos out of the rods ages ago, and remember that unless your living in a bubble, chances are your going to be breathing more particulate matter over a life time of living then in most half ways modern facilities following OHS guidelines.

    Just to be clear, I'm not saying either smoking or welding is good for you, I'm saying #1 occupational illness is hearing loss.

    But if you have the money to spend, you could spend it on worse things then filtered air.
    As far as who's responsible to pay for the top of the line breathing apparatus, seems to me it's half of what your expecting here for support, or selling for the best protection money can buy, I'm going to say you. That *** well depends on Gov. health and safety regulations and who's following them?

    I use 3M disposables, 2 strap particulate and carbon filtered particulate depending on the conditions, and a dual cartridge and dual cartridge full face on rare occasions.
    Most times nothing at all. Cross breeze ventilation, local exhaust. Keeping your head out of the plume because you can see helps greatly.
    I do wear sound suppressing muffs not ear plugs. I can't run as fast or far, not that many 62 year old guys do, but I can hear you well enough to say good luck selling that to the boss, and if you do, wear it.

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    • #3
      MarkG, It looks like Oldguyfrom56 and I are hijacking your thread. The AVERAGE smoker lives about 18 fewer years than the AVERAGE nonsmoker. This does not say that individuals will beat or not beat the odds, just that overall any kind of smoking is a less-than-good thing for the general population. There is nothing like a good personal anecdote to nullify wide-ranging scientific research. In fact, here is some published research for your perusal: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/9703.php. I applaud your concern with the cleanliness of the air you are breathing. Although pricey, PAPR is as worth it as a nice auto-darkening hood, especially when compared with a new 3/4 ton 4x4 with the nice trim package. Oldguyfrom56 gives some good points to consider including lesser types of breathing protection. I, alas, am "just" a hobbyist and have no experience with PAPR. When I was taking welding classes at the community college, our instructor insisted that we wear the welder half-mask when flux-core welding, but not for any of the other processes This was in addition to local extraction "snouts" in every booth. We can all agree on one thing: YOU determine how close to the edge of the cliff you stand while enjoying the view. ~0le
      "If a problem can't be solved, enlarge it." (The 34th president of the United States)

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      • #4
        https://www.nsc.org/work-safety/tool...ry-facts/chart

        Some one said to me, maybe the problem isn't what you think it is. Maybe the problem is worrying about it?

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