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Author: Subject: Best Allround Gasmask for Laboratory use in the Year 2020 ?
JerryNoBrainers
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Best Allround Gasmask for Laboratory use in the Year 2020 ?

Can you recommend the best allround gasmask
2-full face protection

any specific models that are optimal for organic chemistry and
that are able to filter most toxic fumes?

what exact filter should you pick?

a big plus would be a fast take on and take off mechanism.

price is irrelevant, safety is the most important and
these mask will last you a long time.
JerryNoBrainers
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'Secondly, cartridges are normally disposed of after one use, however since we as amateur chemists cant afford to do so, you need to carefully store them after use. The best way is to put them into a ziplock bag, otherwise they absorb water vapor from the air and become useless after half a day. '

'The difference between dust cartridges and vapor cartridges is that dust cartridges can be used indefinitely without losing efficiency, and it will simply become harder to breath through (realistically there is a point where it is simply too uncomfortable but I have not yet reached that point ever), while vapor cartridges will eventually become saturated and will stop absorbing toxic vapors.'

vapor cartridges really need to be replaced that often?

usually I work outside but sometimes there is no wind and I ll
get some nasty whiffs.

I prefer a gas mask on these days.

[Edited on 14-11-2020 by JerryNoBrainers]
B(a)P
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Get a full faced respirator. They give eye protection plus better respiratory protection. Ideally you can try a few different brands, they will have different fits. Once you settle on a brand they all have web sites to guide you on cartridge selection. Don't cheap out on a respirator, get a reputable brand. I like 3m they fit me well, have great cartridge selecting and good vision in the full face. I use them both professionally and in my home lab. You need to be clean shaven for a respirator to work. Do an odor test when you are picking a respirator to ensure a good fit. Do a positive and negative pressure test everytime you put your resistor on. Make sure you clean it after use, preferably with ethanol or equivalent, and store it in a dust free and dry environment.
zed
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You need a full face mask.

The MSA UltraView is nice. And, fairly inexpensive on E-Bay.

Though for comfort, I prefer the MSA UltraElite.

You want a mask that uses standard 40MM NATO cartridges.

Better than a cartridge, is utilizing positive pressure air, from a remote air source.

The Israelis make a decent mask, and their cartridges are great. Masks are inexpensive, and widely available.

[Edited on 18-11-2020 by zed]
teodor
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 Quote: Originally posted by JerryNoBrainers 'Secondly, cartridges are normally disposed of after one use, however since we as amateur chemists cant afford to do so, you need to carefully store them after use. The best way is to put them into a ziplock bag, otherwise they absorb water vapor from the air and become useless after half a day. '

I think this information is not accurate. I always have my 3M gas mask on the table in my laboratory with cartridges on. It continues to absorb vapours. It would be ridiculous to keep protection equipment disassembled and packed - the situation of gas leak or taking a boiling acid from a heating can arise quickly, there is no time to assemble a gas mask.
outer_limits
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It depends on a way how do you work. I keep my mask disassembled and packed - I use it rarely and I don't need it ready for use all the time. In case when I suspect that something could happen and there is even a very small probability of things going wrong - I would prepare it for immediate usage
B(a)P
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 Quote: Originally posted by teodor I think this information is not accurate. I always have my 3M gas mask on the table in my laboratory with cartridges on. It continues to absorb vapours. It would be ridiculous to keep protection equipment disassembled and packed - the situation of gas leak or taking a boiling acid from a heating can arise quickly, there is no time to assemble a gas mask.

Breaking it down is not required, but keeping it in a sealed container or zip lock bag is best practice. It keeps the dust and other contamination out of the respirator and prolongs cartridge life.

Edit - I am just talking for storage, not when it is in use.

[Edited on 18-11-2020 by B(a)P]
teodor
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 Quote: Originally posted by B(a)P Breaking it down is not required, but keeping it in a sealed container or zip lock bag is best practice. It keeps the dust and other contamination out of the respirator and prolongs cartridge life.

I agree that theoretically it is better to isolate active components of cartridges from atmosphere when they are not used. But, to make this advice accurate I think some important questions should be answered:
1. How exactly different types of a cartridge work. I use 3M ABEK1 filters for vapours and I believe it has 4 layers with different properties. I doubt that any of them can "absorb water vapor from the air and become useless after half a day". Also, I doubt that I have so big acid content in the air to make acid-absorption layer saturated even after 1 year of storage in a room. If there are some other layers in this cartridge which needs protection I'd like to know how this layer works. I don't understand, generally, why it should absorb something (in noticeable amount) when there is no air movement through the cartridge. My rough estimation is like 1 min of usage brings more vapours load than 1 day of storage. Can I use precision balances to control how much stuff is absorbed by a cartridge?
2. Practically, I need a reliable method to test a cartridge before usage for each type of vapours. I think it is most important question. Because if it still absorbs acid vapours well it doesn't mean it is still good for organic etc. Something like a test bottle with known concentration of a smelly compound. If somebody can suggest any procedure we can test different masks/cartridges and share our results. This will partially answer the question about the best gas mask.

B(a)P
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It really depends what you mostly use a respirator to protect yourself from.
If it is particulates then it is super easy, when it gets hard to breath then switch it out.
If it is a compound that you can detect by smell well before toxic effect then you use it until you detect an odour then switch it out.
It is not moisture in the air that will use up your cartridge it is volatile contaminants, if you seal it off from that when it is not in use then it will last longer.
Also do you really want to breath in every dust particle that has been accumulating in your lab on your first use of you respirator?
Why do you use ABEK1 cartridges?
What are the compounds that drive the need to use a respirator?
For some contaminants you only have a limited one time use then the absorbents become quenched and you need to ditch the cartridge, vinyl chloride is one such compound.
There are many variables in respirator and cartridge selection and use. Also respirators are generally peoples last line of defence so they deserve to be treated as such. Keep it clean, store it well, maintain it and be extremely meticulous with cartridge selection.
teodor
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 Quote: Originally posted by B(a)P Why do you use ABEK1 cartridges?

It was only one type available in a shop where I bought other staff, I usually try to minimise amount of money I am spending for parcel delivery. Could you recommend me some shop with wider selection of cartridges/PPE in EU? Also, what could be wrong with ABEK1, it seams they are all-round and I didn't find ANY information in 3M sheets in which extent other more specialised cartridges are better, so my blind assumption is that they are not any better.

 Quote: Originally posted by B(a)P What are the compounds that drive the need to use a respirator?

Well, I have no dedicated laboratory, I do other things in the same room (mostly working on computer the same time) and my fume-hood is self-made and doesn't cover the whole space of my table yet. So, I just keep gas mask near me in a case I need adjust my draught, in this case my nose sends me a signal. I am aware about IDLH of different compounds and warning properties, so I though I plan my experiments well. But action like disassembling of system, pouring some liquids (like alkyl bromides) , some adjusting etc. I do with a gas mask on me. Other things I do mostly in closed systems with adjustable ventilation and gas mask ready to any accident.

 Quote: Originally posted by B(a)P Keep it clean, store it well, maintain it and be extremely meticulous with cartridge selection.

Thank you for the advise, I will try to follow.
ShotBored
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The 3M full face mask is what I use in my new position since I'm working with CS and OC tear gas a little bit. Works very well, you might want to do a personal fit test that mimics the 3M fit test.

Just get some Saccharin solution, get a large plastic shopping bag and poke a quarter size hole in it. Get a misting spray bottle and make a saturated saccharin solution in water, then spray it to see if you taste it. Some people, such as myself, cannot taste saccharin weirdly. Then put your respirator on and put the bag over your head and spray the saccharin mixture through the whole, if you can taste it, then your mask needs to be tightened or you may need a smaller mask. Hope this is of some help. Also, I always keep my mask in the sealed bag it came in when not using it. Helps with the lifetime of the mask and keeps it from picking up contaminants.
B(a)P
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 Quote: Originally posted by teodor Also, what could be wrong with ABEK1, it seams they are all-round and I didn't find ANY information in 3M sheets in which extent other more specialised cartridges are better, so my blind assumption is that they are not any better.

ABEK1 is a good all round cartridge. It does not give protection from organic compounds with boiling points less than 65 C though. If you are using bromoethane for example then you will need an SX type cartridge.
In terms of suppliers in the EU I have no idea sorry, I am based in Australia.
I presume you have checked your local hardware shop and or safety equipment shop?
This attachment is quite useful for cartridge selection.

Attachment: Filter Selection Guide v8.pdf (786kB)

unionised
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hierarchy_of_hazard_controls

Using a gas mask routinely is admitting that you can't do the job properly.

[Edited on 19-11-20 by unionised]
outer_limits
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But it's definitely better to do the job in non-properly manner using a mask
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I purchased a full face respirator off eBay a few weeks ago. It's a clone of 3M's 6000 series (6800 is large which I got) of masks. Fits well and I suspect it was made on 3M tooling going by the quality. Cost me ~A$50. I decided that while I'm willing to risk the mask on eBay as I can test its fit easily, I'm not gambling on the filters. I haven't found a reasonably priced source for those yet. 6059s are 3M "all purpose" filter that meets A/NZ standards (there is another range that meets other standards) and will cover most acid gases, organic vapours, ammonia and methylmine. Mercury has their own special filters as do very low boiling point organic vapours. I can get them for ~A$45 a pair locally, but I've been looking at buying bulk where I can get them before shipping for A\$14 a pair. MOQ is 64 filters though and I don't need that many.
zed
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3M is OK. I suppose. But, the full-face models are expensive new, and currently in short supply. At least in the USA. Seems like our standard retailers are permanently "Out of Stock".

I prefer MSA because it is pro-stuff. It is available inexpensively via Ebay. And, 40 MM, NATO cartridges are available worldwide. Sometimes at a steep discount.

The 3M clones are generally of Chinese origin. Similar in appearnce to 3M, but I have heard questions arising about the quality of, and the types of... The plastics employed in construction. Might prove fragile.

Likewise, Chinese Cartridges, may be iffy.

Here in the USA, early in the pandemic, cargo containers of masks, stamped N 95, arrived here from China. When tested, the masks failed to meet N95 standards. I assume they failed by a lot. They were deemed un-useable.
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I did say I'm not gambling on Chinese filters and I did say the mask fits well and seems well made. The rubber is also definitely not neoprene or natural rubber.

 Sciencemadness Discussion Board » Fundamentals » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition » Best Allround Gasmask for Laboratory use in the Year 2020 ? Select A Forum Fundamentals   » Chemistry in General   » Organic Chemistry   » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition   » Beginnings   » Responsible Practices   » Miscellaneous   » The Wiki Special topics   » Technochemistry   » Energetic Materials   » Biochemistry   » Radiochemistry   » Computational Models and Techniques   » Prepublication Non-chemistry   » Forum Matters   » Legal and Societal Issues