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What is a Spray Paint Respirator?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 26 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A spray paint respirator is worn by a person while spray painting. The fumes and dangerous particles found in the over-spray can be filtered out by a spray paint respirator. Consisting of a face mask with changeable filters, the spray paint respirator should always be worn when spraying any amount of paint. Conditions such as respiratory health issues, cancerous tumors and heart problems can all be guarded against by wearing a spray paint respirator.

Due to advances in chemical engineering, spray paints have become much more durable and less susceptible to fade and dulling. These changes in makeup also make it more necessary than ever to wear a spray paint respirator when working with any form of spray paint. Contact through skin is avoided by wearing specialized suits and gloves; however, the spray paint respirator is the only protection against airborne contaminates entering the body through the respiratory system.

Most good spray paint respirators have changeable filters capable of protecting the wearer against a vast number of contaminates. Prior to painting, the paint label should be checked against the respirator filters to ensure proper protection is in place. Also, the filters should be checked for the time rating. Most spray paint respirators are marked for the maximum amount of exposure time that they will give adequate protection.

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Wearing a respirator past the recommended amount of exposure time can result in injury and even death to the wearer. It is not a good idea to keep used filters for use at a later date. Extended contact with the chemicals used in the paint causes the filters to lose their effectiveness. Saving the used filters could result in beginning a painting job with expired filters. A best practice is to throw any filter that has been used for even a minimal time in the garbage.

It is also wise to replace spray paint respirator filters that have any visible damage to the mask's rubber components. Even the smallest rip or pin hole can lead to the exposure of toxins. If it is suspected that a filter mask has sustained damage of any type, individuals should replace it before attempting to spray any more paint.

If, while spraying paint, a dizzy or blurred vision condition develops, the painter should stop spraying immediately and get clear of the spray area at once. Symptoms such as nausea and stomachache are also signs of poisoning from spray paint. It is a good practice for users to have another person observe a them for peculiar actions. When used according to the manufacturer's warnings and directions, a spray paint respirator can be a life-saving device.

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