Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Replies: Mask Recommendations

Jeremiah Uronis

thanks everyone. i may have missed one or two but there is plenty to read here.

See the accompanied warning labels on the resin and glue containers, and always wear gloves when your cleaning anything with solvent.. That will tell you everything. Regarding the off gassing of foam materials your lab has to have ventilation. Small particulate matter you already addressed.
Good Luck,


All of the potential side effects of any material you use should be contained in your msds that your company is supposed to have available to all employees. As for the mask, our company uses the 3M organic vapor half faced respirators. If your mask fits properly the vapor from your breath should not escape upward. If your company is as relaxed as most though and doesn’t require “fit test” level fit for respirators this fogging will not stop unless you get a full faced respirator in which case you would not have to wear glasses. Hope this helps.


We had OSHA come in and do an evaluation of our lab. They put air monitors on our techs, during their normal activities, grinding, gluing, laminating, other. They said we had so low of particulates or gases that there were absolutely no requirements that people had to have a respirator or a dust mask from their limits to exposure. They said a regular paper dust mask was probably a good idea, but no requirements. They considered everything nuisance dust, as far as particulates. They said relative to other industries we were pretty low, below any thresholds they cared about for limits of human exposure over time, and concentrations.

I have heard different people say they know people who got cancer in our field. I have heard of a few through them of people with various cancers. Personally have only known one practitioner who died of lung cancer, but he was as close to being a chain smoker as a practitioner could be. Would hand a brace to the technician with directions on modification, then go smoke a cigarette or 2, return, go fit the brace. The people I know who are concerned are afraid of their own shadow and will probably cause themselves more harm physically from the stress of worrying about it than our field causes them. I personally don’t think it is any higher than the general population, but haven’t heard any hard evidence either way. My family has a history of lots of different cancers, and none work in O and P, but in various places and fields. In fact, among my parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents, have had more cancers than I have heard of specific people combined int the O and P field that have been reported to me from other practitioners. I expect to get cancer someday, and won’t blame O and P, but will blame my genetics. The positive is that my family tends to keep on living after cancer diagnoses pretty regularly for the most part.

As far as mask recommendations, I don’t have one. I don’t wear one, but recommend my staff to pick one out they like and I will reimburse them, but I don’t even require they use them. We all are going to die some way, some day, and personally I don’t think O and P is killing anyone.


Good question…… I don’t know about glues but I know that I cannot use any of the synthetic casting fiberglass without having constriction on my breathing. I never use to have any problem with it until this year. I have been in the field for over 30 years so it seems I have developed a sensitivity to the stuff. My co workers just blow it off like I am a light weight or something but it could well happen to them too. It’s the long term affects that are a problem.


Many of the nastier (cancer promoting, liver killing) chemicals are going away, though we still have some. Masters and Barge both have toluene which is a benzene known to promote cancer. We no longer keep acetone (among other hazards is a defatting agent that absorbs readily through your skin) in our lab and I’ve replaced gunking adhesives with non toxic ones which have no odor. I wear a good particulate mask whenever I grind on anything that could end up in my lungs, especially carbon fiber though I’ve drastically reduced its use. Studies? I’m sure there are plenty on the specific ingredients and some of that information can be found on the SDS. I have not done any hardcore research but I’ve taken the practical approach to limit our exposure by replacing with less toxic items where possible. Let me know what you find out, especially any specific chemicals to avoid.


The only thing you should be using is a carbon cartridge/HEPA style mask(s). This removes the volatile organic compounds from your glues/thinners and protects you from the dust your creating when grinding. Anything less and your not protecting yourself and your employees. I’m thinking this is an OSHA requirement? You will feel better and live longer with lower chances of developing chronic debilitating nervous system and pulmonary diseases.


I have a ceiling mounted fan behind me blowing down that keeps me fog free. I also use a full face shield over my glasses. I also use an organic vapor respirator and particle masks.


N95 Masks and anti-fog safety glasses.


The chemicals usally cause nerve disorders if you are exposed to it for years. Liver malfunction and in some cases cancer depending on the chemical.There is research if you want to take the time to dig for it all.


This one looks pretty good, I will buy one.

You can also get or make a piped in air mask, that picks up air outside and feeds it to a full face mask. That way no chemicals or fabric fibers make it to the lungs. This would be perfect for laminating or oven work.

Everyone has the usual garbage system with fans above them. All dangerous chemicals drop to the floor, so if you have an overhead fan, it will let the chemicals drop and then pull them past your face on their way to the ceiling fan. Just get some dryer flexible duct and let that go behind and below your work and also fork off to the ground. Chemicals drop to the floor and go under the crack of the doors.

Never eat around chemicals. Our health department sometimes uses a burger as a test and then measures the chemicals in it and food will suck in tons more chemicals than the test device.


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