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Respirator Hygiene

Good day,

I write this as only a reminder that respirator hygiene can often be
overlooked as days, weeks, and months go by. Yesterday, as do once a
month, I cleaned my respirator with Dr. Bronners Peppermint Soap and
changed the filters. I do a LOT of polishing and sanding, so I
disassemble and clean the facepiece once a month and replace the

This 3M 7502 half-face respirator and 3M 2047 pancake filters weigh
in total only 5.5 ounces, so I can wear it all day. It is used for
particulate protection. The pancake filters are fitted with a layer
of charcoal for nuisance smells. If you have a cold, you might want
to clean the facepiece more frequently. You’ll notice that I put the
date on the filter itself to remind me when they were last replaced.

You would follow the same procedure when using a chemical
respirator. As always, read the manufacturers’ instructions regarding
filter application and exposure limits for that particular

Please try to be diligent in this practice as it WILL save your

All the best,
Jeffrey Herman, Founder & Executive Director
Society of American Silversmiths

The respirator I referred in my previous e-mail:

Jeff Herman


Thank you for the timely reminder and for the great suggestion of
dating the replaceable filters.

I’d like to add that I’m in the process of switching over to
disposable N-95 rated surgical facemasks for some uses. Particularly
if you’re ill, these can be a way to prevent continuous re-infection.
Additionally (and the big plus for me), they are available with the
attached face shield (clear plastic) that comes “up” from the mask to
protect the eyes against splashes, flexshaft dust, and little parts
that go flying around.

They’re available in most good dental and surgical supply catalogs
and run about $1 - $1.50 each (sold in boxes of 25 - 50 depending on

I’m using them for routine uses like polishing, investing,
quenching, grinding, enamels, etc. They’re not fume-specific (I don’t
think), so I wouldn’t use them for heavy duty etching with nitric or
that type of thing.

Karen Goeller
No Limitations Designs
Hand-made, one-of-a-kind jewelry

I'd like to add that I'm in the process of switching over to
disposable N-95 rated surgical facemasks for some uses. 

N-95 masks are not rated for particulate protection. There is a
reason for that… they do not seal as well to the face as a rated
mask will.

Yes they are better than a disposable paper mask, but no they do not
give full protection. Like many tools they can be adopted for other
uses, however, as is often the case they are not the correct tool.

LOL if you want a real cheap n95 mask, when the bird flu panic was
at it’s height some scientists sis tests and found a fine cotton
cloth dipped in a disinfectant and worn across the mouth and nose was
as effective as a n-95 mask…