respirator helmets

Discussion in 'Woodturning Health & Safety' started by allen jay, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. allen jay

    allen jay

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    I would appreciate any and all feed back or info pertaining to the self contained respirator face shields that are currently on the market. best place to buy?
    effectiveness etc etc etc
    I thank you for the help as do my lungs and eyes
     
  2. Fog Tanner

    Fog Tanner

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    Allen,
    If you do a search on Airstream in this forum, you will find quite a bit of information about what you are looking for. This is the best one on the market today, not the cheapest but cheaper than a lung transplant. It has the best filtration and the longest duty cycle. I just replaced the batteries on mine and I am back to a 12 hour duty cycle, which will drop to 8 in a year or so (new Sanyo batteries will always charge to more than rated capacity). It uses 4 "D" cell size nicads with a 5000-5500Mah capacity. This translates into a 8-12 hour duty cycle at 10cfm, not just a few minutes at 6cfm and tapering off. It has to maintain a minimum of 6cfm for the duration of the duty cycle to get the certification that it has. There are a number of other "pro's" which you can find in the other threads.

    I got mine from Airware America. If you get one you will want to get some extra overlays, a spare filter, and a spare Tyvek face seal. If you do much green wood turning you will go through some overlays. The filter lasts a long time, depending on your dust situation - but, you always need it on a Saturday night at one in the morning, so best to keep a spare. The extra face seal is dependent on how often you shave :D.

    Fog
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
  3. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I like dealing with Airware America. My respirator is the Airstream AS400 which is a rather expensive top of the line with a HEPA filter helmet designed for industrial use. 3M also has some other options at lower cost. The Airstream is also comfortable to wear compared to some of the consumer grade respirators which do not use rated filters.
     
  4. n7bsn

    n7bsn

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    More kudo's for AirWare Amercia, it's where I bought my Trend.

    The 3M Airstream is probably the best on the market, and priced like it:eek:

    But, honestly. The money you spend on dust protection is a fraction of the money you would spend on a lung transplant

    TTFN
    Ralph
     
  5. Bill Grumbine

    Bill Grumbine

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    I will add my recommendation for the Airstream and Airware America. My Airstream is so old (12+ years) that it started out life as a Racal AH-5. I have had to replace some parts, and the motor finally gave up the ghost last fall, but overall it has been a great asset in the shop. Just watch what you eat before you put it on. ;)
     
  6. Bill Turpin

    Bill Turpin

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    Watch the size

    I am as LARGE a person as Bill Grumbine. Being used to not being able to fit into anything, I did a several month's study as to the actual size of the Airstream. Bill G was kind enough to allow me to try his hood on at the Fall symposium in GA. It was fine and my wife presented me with one for Christmas. Bill's hood is the Racal, not an Airstream.

    The Airstream hood is SMALLER, and would not properly close before it hit my chin. After contacting the supplier and 3M who only offered warranty replacement, I decided my only out was Dremel surgery. Because of H1N1 scares they would not take it back for credit. An hour with engravers and sanding made it possible to wear, however it will never fit like it should.

    I am 375#, 6'6". If you are a big fathead like me, be sure that you try one on before making this nearly $1K purchase! I have not really turned with it yet. Fifteen inches of snow kept me out of shop and we were gone to FL symposium for most of a week. :(
     
  7. Bill Grumbine

    Bill Grumbine

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    Bill, as far as I know, all the parts are the same. Every replacement part I have purchased through 3M, including replacement visors, have been a perfect fit. The edge of the face shield hits me in the chin too. I think for normal people it is supposed to actually go underneath their chin.
     
  8. bowlman

    bowlman

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    Airstream Helmets

    I have used an Airstream since the mid 80's when they were known as Racal. Had it rebuilt once in all that time, and, when I had it rebuilt I also upgraded to the "smart" battery and charger. As long as AirAmerica stay in business, they will have mine. Nice to work with professional knowledgeable people. Kudos to them!
     
  9. Bill Turpin

    Bill Turpin

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    ??

    Bill, I have lost weight since Sept. The visor is some 10 to 15° short of full rotation to closed position. I don't believe that my chin has grown longer after 60 years. Oh well, thats one of the problems of being built like a GORILLA. :)
     
  10. n7bsn

    n7bsn

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    Also avoid sneezing :D
     
  11. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    3M bought Racal (a British company) several years ago and the helmet is still made in the same factory -- only the name has changed. It may be that the headband and webbing is different or it could be that it is not correctly adjusted for your head size. In addition to the adjustment for hat size, there are also adjustments that control how far the helmet comes down on your head. Also, hooking the headband/webbing to the inside of the helmet can be tricky if you have not seen how it is done. If not correctly fastened together, the helmet will ride very high on your head and the bottom of the faceshield will hit you in the teeth instead of fitting under your chin.
     
  12. Bill Grumbine

    Bill Grumbine

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    Good points Bill, but we are different. I've got the webbing out as far as it will go, and the hat down as far as it will go, and the bottom edge of the visor still hits the middle of my chin. And Bill T is even bigger than I am!

    Nothing in this world that is made for normal sized people fits. I have trouble buying hats, shoes, gloves - cars! If you can think of anything that needs to be sized to fit, most likely there are very few, if any choices for people like me.
     
  13. Bill Turpin

    Bill Turpin

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    Thanks to Bill B

    I spent six hours on a snow bound Sunday afternoon making all the adjustments. I got so frustrated and tired that I could not remember which were better. Those cradle clips are REALLY hard to release! I waited a couple of days before I contacted 3M. They confirmed my conclusions that I had made it to its best. The one change that I have not done is to cut the cradle straps, make them longer so that the top of my head will be closer to the hard hat. 3M said that the distance above the head is to NIOSH regulations for a hard hat. There is ± a half inch between the straps and the air distribution tube. Since I really don't need a hard hat, I will probably make this change if the hood's use is not satisfactury. I really want to use my new toy/tool. I have never been able to use a mask with a face shield and glasses. :)

    Bill T
     
  14. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    That was going to be my next suggestion, Bill. I figured that you could cut the existing webbing straps and then get some nylon strap material to make your own -- a good source might be something like the Pony band clamps -- I always figured that those straps were a lot longer than necessary for anything that I would ever be gluing up. The newe webbing straps could be either riveted or install heavy duty snaps or sewn or stapled, etc. to the headband.

    It took a bit of playing around with the headband settings until I found what was the most comfortable for me so that is why I don't want anybody else monkeying around with my settings.

    Does 3M have any alternate solutions to the problem? I am sure that some of their industrial customers have employees who are larger than the average person.
     
  15. RussFairfield

    RussFairfield

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    These things are made for little heads. Put all of that stuff inside of a hardhat, and there's no room left for a Size-8 head and hair. Age took care of the hair, and a Dremel saw and duct tape took care of the fit. It's not pretty, but it works.
     
  16. Bill Turpin

    Bill Turpin

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    3M's response

    Bill B., Here is 3m's reponse:

    "When the cradle is in place in the helmet, and the buttons are in the upper
    most slots, (closest to the top of the helmet) the helmet will ride as low
    as it can go.

    3M respirators are designed to fit a wide range of people, but regulatory
    requirements and general population sizes restrict what we can do. The
    AS-400 is a hard hat. To meet current American National Standards
    Institute hard hat requirements, there must be a certain amount of
    clearance between the top of the helmet and the top of the head. This
    limits how low the helmet can go. We can not make the AS-400 too big as
    then people at the other end of the size spectrum would take issue]

    Without seeing both helmets, I can not say why a 10 year old helmet fit and
    a new one does not. As I mentioned, if you feel there is a manufacturing
    problem with your particular AS-400 you can contact our Warranty Dept at
    800-328-1667 option #3. They can help arrange to have the helmet returned
    and inspected to see if anything is out of manufacturing specifications.
    3M only sells through distributors. If you wish to return the AS-400 for
    refund, you would have to do that through the company you purchased it
    from.

    Don Garvey, CIH, CSP
    3M Occupational Health &
    Environmental Safety Division
    3M Center
    Bld. 235-02-E-91
    St. Paul, MN 55144-1000
    651-575-5576"

    This was not very satisfying after the expense! I fit inside the size #8 headband, but there is not room for a size #8 chin. Bah-humbug! I guess that is why I sold my 3M stock from my IRA.
     
  17. Bill Grumbine

    Bill Grumbine

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    Bill, ask them for a non hard hat unit. Just tell them your head is solid bonium and they will be able to help you! :p Seriously, I feel your pain. Nothing ever fits quite right. Perhaps mine was all stretched out by the time you gave it a try. Who knows.
     
  18. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Another more slightly epensive option is the 3M BreatheEasy Respirator. The filter cartridges, battery, and blower unit all mount on your belt and there is a hose that then connects it to the headgear. The BreatheEasy has several headgear options -- one is a helmet and visor that looks just like the Airstream unit, but there is also soft headgear that is used mainly by painters or those spraying various other things that consists of either fumes or fine particles (such as asbestos removal from buildings). I suspect that even CPAP face masks could be used. If this is the case, then a regular face shield could be worn to provide protection from flying things.

    There is one drawback to the BreatheEasy if you happen to like spicey food. :D
     
  19. n7bsn

    n7bsn

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  20. n7bsn

    n7bsn

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    Could you point out any that are rated for particles and impact?

    The only particle ones I could find were paper masks
     

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