Finding the Right Respirator Mask for Sensitive Skin
Posted by PK Safety Team on Feb 16th 2011
Finding the right filters for your job can be challenging, especially for those who are more sensitive. Take, for example, this question I recently received:
I do house cleaning and car detailing for a living. I work with mostly alkaline degreasers, cleaner waxes and petroleum distillates. I currently use the 6000 half face piece mask and the 6001 organic filter cartridge. Although I change the filters regularly, I know some vapors must be getting past because I am hypersensitive to them and very asthmatic. Do you have any suggestions?
From reading this question, I am thinking about 2 things, is the mask getting a good seal? And is this the right cartridge? In special cases, such as this customer’s high sensitivity, it is hard to find “the answer.”
Firstly, I recommend switching from the 6001 Organic Vapor Cartridge to the 6006 Multi-Gas Cartridge because this covers a wider range of gas vapors. Since this customer seems to be dealing with a wide variety of cleaners, this broader range filter may be more effective. If our customer were dealing with fine dusts, I would recommend the 60926 stacked filter. However, keep in mind that breathing through a stacked filter may be a bit more labored than through a regular filter. Since our customer mentioned he was asthmatic, I would not recommend this unless it is strictly necessary to keep him safe from the chemicals he is using at his job.
My second recommendation would be to switch from the 6000 half-facepiece respirator mask to the 7500 half-facepiece respirator mask. The 7500 is made (mostly) from silicone. This is much more hypoallergenic than the 'elastomeric compound' found in the 6000. Also, the 7500 is more comfortable, and has the potential to seal better.
Again, it is hard to find “the answer,” especially for those sensitive people, some degree of experimentation is needed. Also, it is important to think about the eyes and your skin. All are avenues for exposure, particularly for the sensitive person. If you are uncertain which set-up is best for you and your job requirements, feel free to give is a call and ask!
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