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Unread 02-04-2013, 09:59 PM   #1
outbackmatt
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How many professionals here dont wear dust masks when fabricating?

I've been a metal fabrictor for 6 years. Remembering back when I went to school for welding they never talked about the metal dust created from grinding and so we never wore dust masks. (Also, when I started there I was the only one in the class to wear ear plugs, then a few others began to wear them but most didnt.) Safety was not much part of the curriculum.

Now I am a full time fabricator in my own shop. I dont wear dust masks because I have yet to find one that wont fog up my safety glasses or face shield. When the glasses fog up it becomes an immediate hazzard and so the dust masks stay off.

I get the black boogers and nasal congestion on a daily basis. I'm aware of the negative affects of metal dust, specifically how it will build up in your lungs and cause scar tissue which decreases lung capacity later in life. At 22 years old I've decided I want to work more safely before its too late.

The #1 contributor of metal dust pollution in my shop was the abrasive chop saw. I've eliminated that mess a couple years back by investing in a dry cut saw which produces mostly chips instead of dust. There is still harmful amounts from the grinder and cut off wheels. After a couple days my shop floor is covered in it.

So the question is am I just being to much of a paranoid p**** over this? We only get one set of lungs. Do you professional weldors and fabricators wear masks at work and if so what kind, and how do you keep the safety glasses clear?

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Unread 02-05-2013, 05:52 AM   #2
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I do if I am grinding very much at one time, or in a confined space. I don't usually have a problem with the glasses fogging up, but the dust masks we have at work have the one way valve in them, so your exhale is less restricted, and you get less leakage. If you have the metal band bent really well, it helps too.

There is also a divers trick, rub a small amount of soap onto your glasses, and then buff it out (with a towel or w/e). That will prevent them from fogging up. The soap breaks the surface tension of water, so it cant bead up (which is what the fog is).
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Unread 02-05-2013, 07:15 AM   #3
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Most of the paper masks are garbage look at the 3m half face respirators with a P100 filter. I wear one probably 90% of the time because I have seen what happens later in life to someone who hasn't. As for the safety glass issue mine came with a anti-fog coating that works and like said before get a mask with a one way valve. Your lungs will feel better once you start wearing a respirator.
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Unread 02-05-2013, 11:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kettles View Post
There is also a divers trick, rub a small amount of soap onto your glasses, and then buff it out (with a towel or w/e). That will prevent them from fogging up. The soap breaks the surface tension of water, so it cant bead up (which is what the fog is).
Gel type toothpaste works great! Not the white kind though, it leaves scratches/hazing. Just rub in on/around with your fingers, then rinse off with water. The oil from your skin and sweat help the moisture to adhere. My advanced dive rescue instructor taught me this. Much cheaper than the anti-fog stuff sold in dive shops.
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Unread 02-05-2013, 06:19 PM   #5
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3m half face w/ P100, or my Draeger half face w/ Hepa cartridge. Whichever I grab first. Nothing when under the hood. Even wear a respirator at work when doing weld inspection if I'm working close with the welders.
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Unread 02-05-2013, 06:50 PM   #6
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Those 3m half face w/ P100 are pretty cheap on ebay for $20 and they look comfortable. I hadnt seen them in local stores. I'll have to give it a try.

I picked up some disposable 3m P95 masks at northern tool before checking this thread.
What are the thoughts on p95 vs p100?

Great tips on defogging the saftey glasses. I've been fighting with that and tried the antifog wipes from the eyecare place in walmart. They just made the lenses turn watery.
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Unread 02-06-2013, 02:56 PM   #7
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What are the thoughts on p95 vs p100?
P95's are junk compared to a correctly fit half face with the right cartridge.

Right now we've got enough of a breeze that there isn't a soul wearing a mask:


If you look close you'll see one of my guys striking an ark just below the outrigger on the crane.

Once we get another three courses high and a roof on it, I'll definitely be wearing one
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Unread 02-06-2013, 08:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outbackmatt View Post
Those 3m half face w/ P100 are pretty cheap on ebay for $20 and they look comfortable. I hadnt seen them in local stores. I'll have to give it a try.

I picked up some disposable 3m P95 masks at northern tool before checking this thread.
What are the thoughts on p95 vs p100?

Great tips on defogging the saftey glasses. I've been fighting with that and tried the antifog wipes from the eyecare place in walmart. They just made the lenses turn watery.
P95 Filters at least 95% of airborne particles
P100 Filters at least 99.97% of airborne particles
To qualify as HEPA by US government standards, an air filter must remove 99.97% of all particles greater than 0.3 micrometre from the air that passes through.

Basically all P100 filters are HEPA filters.

the N100, R100, or P100 respirators have been certified at the 99.97% efficiency level and are identified as HEPA respirators.

You can also buy specific cartridges for what your welding on to further reduce issues.
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Unread 02-06-2013, 10:04 PM   #9
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We do a lot of grinding and I didn't want the dust getting everywhere so I built a 10x10 enclosed room inside the shop, it has a air filtration unit and the filters need changing pretty much weekly.

If we are doing a lot of grinding or sanding we will mask up p100 and use the filter unit, if I am just doing a quick job ill usually just turn the air filter on.

The best part of the room is not having to clean the shop all the time!

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Unread 02-07-2013, 10:58 AM   #10
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I'm mig welding mild steel with c25 gas. I always have good ventilation in summer but during winter the shop doors stay closed unless too much smoke builds up then I'll crack open the main door. At the gas flow rate for welding how careful do you have to be when welding with the door down? My shop isnt air tight to begin with so any smoke from welding clears within 5 -10 minutes.

On a busy day I only spend a couple hours welding. The rest is spent cutting, grinding, notching, drilling and bending. Between constantly jumping around from one tool to the other, I'm going to have to get in the habbit of dust masking up just to do some quick grinding or welding.
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Unread 02-07-2013, 04:16 PM   #11
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RainX's fog prevention stuff for windshields actually works really well on glasses.
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Unread 02-07-2013, 08:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outbackmatt View Post
I'm mig welding mild steel with c25 gas. I always have good ventilation in summer but during winter the shop doors stay closed unless too much smoke builds up then I'll crack open the main door. At the gas flow rate for welding how careful do you have to be when welding with the door down? My shop isnt air tight to begin with so any smoke from welding clears within 5 -10 minutes.

On a busy day I only spend a couple hours welding. The rest is spent cutting, grinding, notching, drilling and bending. Between constantly jumping around from one tool to the other, I'm going to have to get in the habbit of dust masking up just to do some quick grinding or welding.
You shouldn't have to worry about asphyxiation when welding in anything other than a small confined space. The normal size tanks are like 125 or 150 cubic feet, and your running at around 20 cubic feet an hour. A 5 foot cube room would fill completely with a 125 tank (5ft^3 is 125cf), if you were welding for 6 hours solid.

Now it doesn't need to completely displace the air, and there are other factors, but the point is if you can stand in your shop to do the welding, your not going to run out of oxygen, or have too much co2. The only thing I would worry about is the junk in the air your getting in your lungs. A good particle mask/respirator will solve that.
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Unread 02-07-2013, 09:27 PM   #13
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You shouldn't have to worry about asphyxiation when welding in anything other than a small confined space.
It would have to be real, real small. My guys weld in what are basically 4'x2'x8' coffins with straight CO2 (dual shield) for hours on end. Our requirement is that they have an air quality monitor with them in the hole and come out for fresh air when it starts screaming at them and that very rarely happens.
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Unread 02-08-2013, 12:25 PM   #14
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Thanks for the info guys.
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Unread 02-10-2013, 09:11 PM   #15
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dust mask

Quote:
Originally Posted by outbackmatt View Post
I've been a metal fabrictor for 6 years. Remembering back when I went to school for welding they never talked about the metal dust created from grinding and so we never wore dust masks. (Also, when I started there I was the only one in the class to wear ear plugs, then a few others began to wear them but most didnt.) Safety was not much part of the curriculum.

Now I am a full time fabricator in my own shop. I dont wear dust masks because I have yet to find one that wont fog up my safety glasses or face shield. When the glasses fog up it becomes an immediate hazzard and so the dust masks stay off.

I get the black boogers and nasal congestion on a daily basis. I'm aware of the negative affects of metal dust, specifically how it will build up in your lungs and cause scar tissue which decreases lung capacity later in life. At 22 years old I've decided I want to work more safely before its too late.

The #1 contributor of metal dust pollution in my shop was the abrasive chop saw. I've eliminated that mess a couple years back by investing in a dry cut saw which produces mostly chips instead of dust. There is still harmful amounts from the grinder and cut off wheels. After a couple days my shop floor is covered in it.

So the question is am I just being to much of a paranoid p**** over this? We only get one set of lungs. Do you professional weldors and fabricators wear masks at work and if so what kind, and how do you keep the safety glasses clear?
Working with carbon steel is not much of a problem. If grinding with fiber abrasive grinding wheels, then yes a dust mask would be the safe way to go. The problem comes when welding and grinding stainless steel and other heavy metal alloy steel. The welding and grinding fumes can cause cancer. Ever watch Erin Brockovich, that is what you are dealing with. With the destruction of the american health care system and affordable insurance, you need to take all the safety steps possible. My company has given us plenty of warning concerning this.
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