The Right Respirators For Painting and Respirators For Painting With Beards

Shanna Cooper
Mon Oct 24, 2022

While spraying any paint or primer, it is crucial that you protect your lungs and eyes from the vapors. Almost all paints contain chemicals that are hazardous, leading to potential health problems and cancer. These particles can linger in the air for minutes after spraying is discontinued.

 Why do painters need a respirator?

Many painters will work with acrylic paint and oil based paints that emit a thick vapor during application. Even 15 minutes of exposure to these fumes can cause dizziness, confusion, headaches, nausea and unseen respiratory damage. Wearing a respirator is the only way to protect against the paint.

Will a dust mask work to block paint fumes?

A dust mask or disposable mask will NOT work when working with paint. It is important to remember that if you can smell or taste the paint through your respirator, then you are wearing an incorrect respirator or at minimum one that is not fitting properly.

How to choose the correct spray painting respirator?

If you are working with a variety of different paints and coatings and/or have facial hair/wear glasses, we will always recommend using a PAPR with chemical or organic vapor cartridges as they offer the best protection from paint fumes.

For water based paints:

We recommend our Gerson Paint and Body Kit, PureFlo 3000 PAPR head mounted system or the CleanAir HEPA belt mounted system with carbon pre-filters.

For solvent based paints:

If you are working with a variety of different paints that are solvent based, we advise using a full face PAPR with chemical combination filters such as our CleanAir Ready 2 Work belt mounted system.

If you are interested in a head mounted system such as our Pureflo ESM+, please contact us to discuss what types of nuisance level odors and paints you are working with. 

For closed environment solvent and cellulose based paints: 

If you are working with highly toxic paints and/or in oxygen deficient atmospheres, an air supplied respirator may be required.
Please contact us to browse our new air supplied respirator offerings that are coming soon to the website.

 Respirator Safety Tips

  1. Be aware of smells: if you notice any changes in odor or taste, or if your throat, nose or lungs get inflamed - replace your filters
  2. Easy Breathing: if your respirator becomes clogged and difficult to breathe through, its time to replace it
  3. Keep Dry: Always store your respirator in a dry place and keep it away from moisture
  4. Replace the filters per the manufacturing recommendations
  5. If a respirator or filter canister is unclean or broken, it should be thrown away.
  6. Replace face seals and other parts of the respirator as soon as signs of wear are visible

Safety Isnt An Option

There is no alternative: it is imperative that you wear a respirator and have eye protection when dealing with paint chemicals and dust particles. Even a minute of exposure will cause unseen damage for the long run and can compound over time into serious long term health risks. 

It is critical to stay safe from the paint. 

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