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Thread: Welding respirator

  1. #1
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    Default Welding respirator

    For the welders, do any of you guys wear a respirator under your helmet? What do you use? I have had a slight touch of asthma as a result of fumes lately. Cleaning everything like crazy and working on positioning doesn't seem to be enough.

    Thanks, Jonathan.

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    Default Re: Welding respirator

    I'm prone to sinus infections and welding certainly bothers mine. I use a 3M "Ultimate" Half Facepiece Respirator with their P100 2097 Organic Vapor filters. The skin on my face is typically sensitive in the heat and I was finding it would react a bit with the other style 3M 6100 masks I was using previously. So I switched to the Ultimate as it's made from Silicone and apparently that does not react with sensitive skin types from what I heard. Since I started wearing them about 10 years ago, I have not really had sinus problems since from welding. They fit really nicely beneath my helmet, and matches the profile of the inside well (actually it feels odd if I don't have it on). I highly recommend them. Hood up:

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    Default Re: Welding respirator

    When I used to weld every day I would also wear the 3m respirator shown above with the same filters.

    They're a tight fight under a Speedglas, but it works.
     

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    Default Re: Welding respirator

    I have no ashtma but I don't like smell of welding and I noticed I had headache after a mid-day welding, and even if I do that in "amateur" I don't like the idea of inhaling fume .Unfortunately this type of repirator (I have one 3m 6100 for cleaning and brazing work) is too big for my helmet (Air Liquide Cameleon) so i have searched an alternative for casual work. I tried european version of this : 3M™ Particulate Respirator 8214. I feel better with.

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    Default Re: Welding respirator

    This looks like it fits under Miller helmets,
    Miller LPR-100 Half Mask Respirator ML00894
    I dont have one, but it looks like there is straps, the reviews talk about it being a little smaller than 3M, fitting multiple helmets.
    cheers
    andy walker
     

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    Default Re: Welding respirator

    I've often wondered about the affects of argon on lungs. Should I be?
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    Default Re: Welding respirator

    Thanks, ill try one or both of these. It's no fun not being able to breathe.

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    Default Re: Welding respirator

    I have a full on sealed speedboats hood with belt pack fresh air pump and filter when I'm doing anything real nasty. Since the intake is on the back of a belt you wear you learn quickly not to windy while the hood is on.
    Most of the frame building stuff I do I don't wear it.

    As to the argon question, there's the old crack about 'the argon blues'
    I don't think it's bad for you persay but it will settle in your lungs and reduce normal capacity.
    It makes you grumpy and depressed by the end of the day, I think it's mostly just from a lack of oxygen intake...

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    Default Re: Welding respirator

    I should note that I'm using/wearing this helmet by Jackson.. It's a near snug/perfect fit under the helmet.

    The solution by Miller is interesting mentioned above by afwalker.

    Anything that is air bound and a particulate that you inhale will settle in your lungs and there's the rub. I also wear the same setup whenever I use a tablesaw. The dust irritates the heck out of my lungs no matter what. When Brazing, I simply switch out the filters on this mask, and use their larger versions for other vapor types which is convenient - I'd have to check the number on them as I can't recall off the top of my head.
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    Default Re: Welding respirator

    Thanks Kris. I should braze with a mask too.

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    Default Re: Welding respirator

    MikeB, Argon is inert, so all it might do to the lungs is dilute oxygen if you got a lot in a breath.
    It comes out of the atmoshpere when they concentrate oxygen by compressing then cooling it.
    andy walker
     

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    Default Re: Welding respirator

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
    Thanks Kris. I should braze with a mask too.
    As a follow up, I use the 3M 60926 Multi-Gas/Vapor/P100 Cartridges when I braze. Not sure it is the best one, but it provided the widest coverage of gas types when I looked into all of the different types.
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    Default Re: Welding respirator

    8593834644_95488f5be2_m.jpg
    the filters are 3 1/2" long
    comes with straps
    cheers
    andy walker
     

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    Default Re: Welding respirator

    I've been having some trouble breathing lately after getting back to brazing, and I'm starting to wonder if it's something to do with the fumes. Last summer we had really bad smoke out West, and my lungs didn't seem to be the same afterward, so maybe I'm just more sensitive now. I've used a respirator a bit, but haven't been sure if it's the right one. I think I'll get some of those 60926 ones to see if that helps. Anyone know if there's anything in particular to be looking for with a mask for brazing? My understanding was that the fumes from brass brazing weren't all that bad (though I would notice black soot from the torch after brazing for a while, so that can't be good). Silver flux is supposed to be toxic though, right?

    Thanks!
     

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    Default Re: Welding respirator

    3M has a PDF that goes through a few of the mask options

    https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/...l-bulletin.pdf

    Below is an example of what you'll fin

    Screen Shot 2019-09-23 at 2.43.50 PM.jpg
    elysian
    Tom Tolhurst

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    Default Re: Welding respirator

    The two aspects of brazing that I was warned about long ago are flux head and boiling off the alloys of the filler. Flux head is the result of poor ventilation and placing one's head above the joint, in the fumes raising column. You get kind of fuzzy thinking, headachy and nauseous. But having been stupid enough times and experiencing this I don't find any long term issues (that I've noticed). Now boiling off the alloys can be potentially more dangerous. Metal poisoning is no laughing mater. This is why Cadmium is no longer found in most Silver fillers. But with both common sense rules. Good ventilation, keeping one's head to the side of the heat column and not cooking the filler. Andy
    Andy Stewart
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    Default Re: Welding respirator

    you can develop an allergy to nickle. When I worked at Trek, we used nickle silver for some reason. No LFB. I used to feel sick a lot when I was there. I don't know if there is enough nickle in the average LFB to be a problem. I try not to get in the fume column, but maybe I should wear a mask. I have asthma, and it does seem to be a little worse when I'm building.
     

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    Default Re: Welding respirator

    I started brazing frames in the late 1970's, in high school. In 1985 I was at the university of Ghent in Belgium and started welding Columbus SL frames and testing the welds. I met a long time frame builder that suffered from chronic respiratory disease due to brazing frames. His doctor ordered him to stop brazing, but would allow him to weld with a, "full respirator." Welding chrome moly frames was fairly new and rather experimental at the time. He taught himself to TIG weld and he was already good with his hands.

    Not taking into account the chemicals in the fumes, in the 1970's I was told in high school that steel welding fumes were several times more harsh on the lungs than cigarette smoke and I knew brazing fumes could be toxic. Using respirators for brazing and welding steel wasn't so common back then, but fumes were a concern. In 1985 when the Belgian frame builder mentioned using a respirator, I was already considering to start using one and I did. I don't know exactly what his doctor meant by a full respirator, but with the little money I had, I figured starting the basic type was better than nothing.
    Steve Anderson

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    Default Re: Welding respirator

    I'm left wondering if the doctor wasn't talking about brazing with cadmium-bearing silver, which was more common back then
     

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    Default Re: Welding respirator

    Quote Originally Posted by EricKeller View Post
    I'm left wondering if the doctor wasn't talking about brazing with cadmium-bearing silver, which was more common back then
    Brazing flux can make toxic fumes and some of the other elements aren't very healthy either.

    Steel welding fumes used to be thought of as harsh, but the chromium and manganese toxic fumes weren't as well known back then.

    Cadmium fumes were already a toxic health concern, but there used to be thoughts of limited exposure being acceptable.

    Now cadmium is considered to have no safe level of exposure.

    With cadmium it is not just the fumes, but also the dust from cutting brazed parts and such is considered toxic.

    Fumes and dust don't just enter the body through the lungs, but also through skin and eye exposure.

    it can settle in the shop on surfaces and clothing and get carried to places where food is eaten.

    I think about fumes, dust and cadmium when repairing old frames.
    Steve Anderson

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