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Air filter / respirator tip

I just came across an interesting tip:

How do you know if the cartridge in the respirator is good?

Keep a bottle of vanilla or banana extract in the shop. Each time
you put on the respirator, hold the open bottle close to the air
intake and sniff. If you can smell the extract, replace the

found at

Hi Nugget,

About your comment,

  How do you know if the cartridge in the respirator is good? (et

in Thursday’s list,

I don’t understand how this refers to most of the respirators out
there in general circulation. I’m guessing it may well apply to those
intended for lead, VOC or other odor removals, in which the activated
carbon prefilters are expected to attract and absorb the oxides,
nitrates, alcohols or esters involved, but I’m hard pressed to
explain how VOC’s like those you’ve mentioned would be diminished or
removed by standard spun-glass or polyester particle filters. Out of
curiosity: where on that site did you find the mention of this, and
what was the context in which it appeared?

Douglas Turet, G.J.
Lapidary Artist & Designer
Turet Desig
P.O. Box 242
Avon, MA 02322-0242


Actually, the original post mentioned that the “tip” was directed to
those users of “cartridge” type air filters. I use both depending on
the need. Obviously, the original post does not apply to the masks
designed solely for particulate filtration.

The url referenced in my original post was a link that I followed
from the Orchid web site. Although the site is designed for those in
the auto body repair business, it, nevertheless, has some interesting
material. I spent a quite a bit of time reading their articles.
You may also find it of some interest.

I hope this clarifies the issue for you.