Filters and Lead Fumes
Posted by PK Safety Team on Oct 07th 2010
I recently got a question about what type of filters should be used for a very interesting project. Although few of my readers will probably have the same exact application, the concept is still the same. Let's take a look:
I am member of a pistol shooting club and I melt my own lead from wheel weights, cast my own bullets and shoot the heck out of the lead semi wadcutters that I make. Having said all that, what masks should I use to try and minimize lead exposure when I am casting and/or melting down wheel weights into smaller ingots. This process is very very smelly and dirty and creates a large amount of smoke from road grime that is being cooked off of the lead. Will 95% filters work or do I need 100%????
For lead fumes, you absolutely need the P100 (HEPA) filters. The N95 won’t give you the protection you need. I recommend the 3M 7093 P100 Hepa Filter. Combine this filter with either our 6000 half facepiece mask or our 7500 half facepiece mask. Moldex also makes a great mask and filter combination for this application.
Also, be sure to keep contaminated clothing and gear separate from your regular wash at home. The lead particles deposited on your clothing during your work can be transferred to other articles of clothing in the wash. This is especially important if there are small children in the household.
When dealing with harmful chemicals like lead, it is important to have the right kind of protection. If you are unsure of what you need, as always, feel free to contact us and ask.