View Full Version : Respirators

09-09-2017, 03:10 PM
Do any of the Gurus here have any idea about respirators and filter ratings?

I currently use a Protector Half Mask with a P2 filter when sanding - which is all good, no more sawdust snot.

Of late I have been doing a little bit of airbrushing, mostly artists acrylic and house paint acrylic (don't ask, it's a long anally retentive story).

While the P2 helps (no multi-coloured snot) I am not convinced it is the right filter and the doco I've found is either poorly written and confusing or contradictory.

Any ideas whether P2 is right or if I need one of the P2/A combinations?

Simon Barden
09-09-2017, 05:18 PM
For spraying you need what I'd call an organic vapour mask. This normally consists of a thin coarse filter, HEPA (high-efficiency particulate) filter and then a carbon filter. The HEPA filter is there to stop the carbon filter getting clogged up but does stop all paint droplets getting through, and the carbon absorbs the paint solvents.

You can get ones with replaceable cartridges or ones that get thrown away once they stop working. If you can smell the paint, it's either not seated well enough on your face or the filters have had it and need replacing/new mask time.

You can get full face masks for not much more money, which are a good idea if you end up spraying a lot, and more effective than most goggles, as you don't want spray in your eyes or face.

Something like the 3M 4251 is a basic disposable dust + organic vapour mask.

09-09-2017, 05:46 PM
Hi Simon,

And therein lies the problem. Some sources indicate that enamel paints require different filters to acrylic paints. Some say the P2 filters are the go for acrylics, others say P2/Ax.

The mask I use has replaceable cartridges, but which to get?

I understand the UK use FFP1 through FFP3 as the ratings, of course Oz has it's own way :)

Simon Barden
09-09-2017, 06:40 PM
Of course!

True water-based acrylics won't need a solvent absorber, just something to stop the droplets. Enamels are normally oil-based, so the solvent is organic and therefore should require more than a straightforward filter. The fact that you are atomising the paint makes it a lot more harmful than when just brushing it on.

But Phrozin is probably the best person that I know on here to give advice, though Sonic Mountain also seems to have done a lot of car spraying.

17-09-2017, 03:38 PM
So to round this off, I ended up getting Protector RC80AR filters.

These are a Class A-Aus/P2 and are suitable for spraying acrylic paints as well as dusts, mists, organic gases and vapours, fumes and odours.