Lead Paint Removal >> Lead Dust Protection

HOW TO USE HALF-MASK RESPIRATORS TO PREVENT LEAD POISONING Half-mask air-purifying respirators are cheap and easy to take care of. They prevent lead poisoning by protecting the wearer from breathing lead-containing dust or smoke ("fume"). These respirators cannot protect against very high levels of lead, Lead Dust Protection but they do provide enough protection for many industrial and construction workers. 

This guide covers the basics of good respirator use and Lead Dust Protection the main Cal/OSHA requirements. Page 4 of the guide contains phone numbers you can call for further assistance. NOT EVERYONE CAN WEAR A RESPIRATOR Respirators can put too much stress on the heart and lungs for some people. Employers should pay for a medical evaluation first to see if workers can safely wear a respirator. 

This is especially important for smokers, people with heart or lung trouble, and Lead Dust Protection anyone who has difficulty breathing when wearing a respirator. Respirators may not be needed if you can reduce air lead levels by changing work practices, changing tools, or using local exhaust ventilation. Cal/OSHA requires that employers reduce high air lead levels (50 µg/M3 or higher) using these basic controls where possible. 

Respirators can be used until you have made these changes, and then afterwards if added protection is still needed. USE THE CORRECT RESPIRATOR FILTERS Use P-100, R-100, or Lead Dust Protection N-100 respirator filters to protect against lead. These used to be called HEPA filters. Where oil mists are also present, be sure to use P-100 filters. 

Different filters are required for other toxic substances. A RESPIRATOR MUST FIT WELL TO PROTECT WELL. SELECT SIZE AND SHAPE. Like shoes, respirators come in different shapes and sizes. A respirator has to fit well to provide good protection. Respirator size and Lead Dust Protection shape should be selected to fit snugly but comfortably. Shake your head. 

The respirator should stay in place. TEST THE RESPIRATOR FIT Cal/OSHA requires that the employer test the fit of the respirator. There are two kinds of fit tests. Both test how much the respirator leaks around the face seal. The "qualitative" fit test is simple and inexpensive to do. A testing chemical with a strong smell or Lead Dust Protection taste is released around the respirator face seal. 

If the wearer can smell or taste the chemical, Lead Dust Protection the respirator has failed the fit test. The "quantitative" fit test uses electronic equipment to measure how much the respirator leaks. The advantage of this test is that it tells you how well the respirator fits. This allows you to compare different respirators and select the one that fits best. 

ALWAYS CHECK THE FACE SEAL It is important to do a "user seal check" every time you put on a respirator. Getting into the Lead Dust Protection habit is the best thing a wearer can do to ensure good protection. Negative Seal Check Cover the filters so that air cannot be drawn through them. Collapse the mask against your face by inhaling gently. 

Hold your breath for 10 seconds. If air leaks in and the mask reinflates, check the valves, adjust the straps and try again. If air does not leak in and the mask stays collapsed against your face, Lead Dust Protection it has passed the negative face seal check. Positive Seal Check Cover the exhalation valve with the palm of your hand.  

Inflate the mask slightly by exhaling gently. Wait a few seconds. If air leaks out and the mask deflates, check the valves, adjust the straps Lead Dust Protection and try again. If the face seal holds the air and the mask stays inflated, it has passed the positive face seal check. A HALF-MASK RESPIRATOR DOES N0T ALWAYS PROVIDE ENOUGH PROTECTION. 

Half-mask respirators leak too much to protect against very high levels of lead. A half-mask offers good protection only if the amount of lead in the air around the worker is less than 500 micrograms per cubic meter of air (500 µg/M3). To find out how much lead workers are exposed to, Lead Dust Protection Cal/OSHA requires that employers do "personal air sampling." 

Note: Half-mask air-purifying respirators do not protect the wearer in areas where there is not enough oxygen. General Industry Until good local exhaust ventilation is installed, Lead Dust Protection half-mask respirators generally provide enough protection for the following tasks: Automotive radiator repair Spraying lead glaze or paint  

Casting and machining lead-containing metals Construction According to Cal/OSHA, Lead Dust Protection if you are working on surfaces coated with lead paint, half-mask respirators probably provide enough protection for the following tasks: Manual demolition Hand sanding and scraping Heat gun use HEPA vacuum-attached power sanding For these tasks start with half-mask respirators, then do air sampling to make sure that the air levels are not above 500 µg/M3. 

Start with a more protective respirator if you are doing work that creates more dust or Lead Dust Protection fume such as power sanding, abrasive blasting, welding or torch cutting. Respirators come with the manufacturer's recommendations for maintenance and care. Here are a few tips: Clean respirators at the end of the day. 

Wash your hands first. Remove the filters and Lead Dust Protection wipe clean if possible. Change the filters as soon as you notice it is slightly harder to breathe through them. The respirator mask should be washed with a mild detergent in warm water, and then rinsed well. If there is no water available, use disposable towelettes such as baby-wipes. Dry the respirator before storing it.  

Store the respirator in a rigid plastic container. Plastic containers commonly used for food left-overs are perfect for storing half-mask respirators. The filters should be stored in a resealable plastic bag and Lead Dust Protection placed in the container. Regularly inspect the respirator and replace worn or damaged parts. 

The wearer or an assigned person should regularly inspect the respirator and replace worn or damaged parts. Replacement parts for half-mask respirators are inexpensive and Lead Dust Protection should be stocked on-site. MAKE SURE EMPLOYEES ARE TRAINED Cal/OSHA requires that employers train employees in how respirators work, how to wear them, and how to take care of them.

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