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DGR,IABD
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The topic of respirators has been brought up in another thread, and I ought to shop for one too. What features (other than the proper filter cartrige) makes for a really nice respirator? Are there certain ones or styles that are absolute junk or irritating to wear? Is there a "Cadillac" model or type of respirator that is especially comfortable to wear? Anyone use one on a regular basis that they especially like? I leafed through a safety supply catalog, and there must be 20 models of basic respirators, not counting the ones with external air supplys (which I don't need).
 

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Look where you shop, you don't want to be running around looking for replacement cartridges.

Most are pretty well designed and all have to meet spec.
 

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DGR,IABD
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Fair enough. How then do you know when the cartridge needs changing? It would be obvious if you were wearing the mask to filter out toluene or something like that, you'd presumably start to smell vapors at the end of the cartridge's life. What about cartridges for particles and dusts, as I intend to buy? How do you know when to change them, particularly if the mask is only used occasionally as the need arises?
 

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For that, 3M makes a variety. The 8210 is the one that I buy the most of, the dual straps make for a tighter fit and don't forget to adjust the nose piece. Change out is pretty easy, if it starts to collapse when you inhale, it's done. It will not let stuff through.

BTW, these are known as particle masks, not to be confused with respirators which are more sophisticated.
 

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DGR,IABD
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hmmm... I don't like the particle masks, because I sometimes wear glasses and they fog up my glasses. I'm leaning toward the bonafide respirator since the better seal, I think, is not going to fog up glasses. I have seen respirator cartridges specifically for particulate matter (mold, lead, asbestos, etc.), which is what I intend to filter. I suppose they just block up too when they're "done". If you can't breathe, you need to change the cartridges. That should be easy enough to remember.
 

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They also come with covers which are much cheaper than cartridges. With what you are doing buy a cheap cartridge and lots of covers.
 
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