Here is the best respirator when using concrete and silica dust.
When you are working with concrete there are a lot of particles in the air from concrete and silica. These are things you don't want to be breathing in, and it can be easy to forgo the proper safety equipment if you don't directly see these microscopic particles floating in the air, but they are there.
So don't just hold your breath while you pour the dry mix in, or while you are mixing or pouring! It's time to think about your health: the most important factor.
Many people work with concrete on a daily basis and are needing masks for their companies and small crafting business. Many of you only need them once in a while, but don't realize just how versatile a good respirator can be. A good dust mask that properly filters out microscopic particles can be used for painting, cleaning, different crafts like with epoxy resin, and more.
Let's talk about the proper dust mask for concrete, and which mask is best for the project.
There are so many masks out there as well as knock off masks that claim to protect you, but you need to know what to look for in the filtration system for each mask you are considering.
Wearing the right respirator for working with concrete and silica is the only way to protect yourself from the dust that seems to explode out of the bag when you open it and mix it with your water and aggregate.
Even if you are working with concrete outside, there are still little particles that are floating around when you are mixing up the concrete and that's the stuff that you want to keep out of your eyes, nose and lungs.
So if you are just playing around with using concrete or have a small business and need to keep your employees safe, forget purchasing the reusable masks. Here is what you need to know about what the best masks and respirators are to use.
Cement is made from a combination of elements and ingredients, (and keep in mind that this formula is different depending on the manufacturer). Some of the common ingredients of cement can be shale, silicon, calcium, clay, aluminum, chalk, iron, limestone, shells, sand and more.
A mask that is comfortable and doesn't get in the way of what you are doing is very important. We are going to talk about exactly what you need to look for when purchasing the proper mask when you are working with concrete and mixing mediums, and let's not forget about the powdered colorants that are mixed into the concrete too.
There are many respirator masks to choose from when working with concrete and cement, but finding a mask that checks all of the safety boxes can be difficult.
HERE ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTORS WHEN CHOOSING THE PROPER MASK FOR CONCRETE & SILICA:
The most important mask features to note is that the mask fits on your face properly when working with concrete or cement. You need a proper face seal to ensure that the only air that is coming in is through the filters and the air is going out through the exhalation valve.
The best mask for mixing concrete and silica will be a full-face N95 equivalent respirator that covers your whole face, as opposed to a half-face respirator, because the full face mask covers your eyes too.
This will help prevent concrete particles from getting into your eyes. A full face mask will give you full coverage from tiny dust particles.
So a full face mask gives you added value in eye protection. Some people like to use a half-face respirator for mixing their medium and then wear goggles for their eyes. We find it way easier to have an all-in-one unit.
It is a matter of preference.
The key point here is to make sure the eyes, nose and mouth are properly protected and sealed inside the mask. The mask that is suggested below will fit over most small eye glasses. Double check the measurements to make sure it will work with your eyeglass set.
This is very important. How do you know if you have the proper dust mask when working with concrete or cement? A quality respirator mask will have an N95 or N95 equivalent rating which means that it will block 95% of small particles. This rating is tied to the filters on your mask, and with the mask we are recommending, they are cartridge style filters that can be easily replaced.
According to the FDA, a small particle means around the size of 0.3 microns.
Concrete and cement have different particle sizes. They are likely going to vary in size depending on what brand and mixture you are using, and also what the concrete is being used for. Particle size ranges will depend on how finely the mixtures are prepared and milled by the manufacturer.
Concrete particles can be anywhere from about 15 microns and up, and are typically smaller than 45 microns. This is what you will most likely be using for your smaller projects.
Cement particles can be anywhere from 3-100 microns and can be even smaller depending on how finely the powder is milled. Remember, cement is what's used to make concrete.
The above are average particle sizes in cement and concrete, check with the manufacturer so you know the EXACT numbers. You can check the manufacturer's MSDS sheets for the exact materials in the brand of concrete or cement you are going to be using with your project or in the construction industry.
A large factor when looking for the best respirator for concrete DIY's is the comfort. The best masks will feel comfortable on your face. You will also need a mask that is adjustable to the size of your head.
Having a proper fitting, adjustable mask is very important because then it will have the proper seal against your face for safety, and feel good at the same time.
Whether you are making new planters, concrete jewelry, stepping stones, pouring new countertops, creating beautiful flower impressions, or even requiring a mask for your concrete business, you will need the proper face mask for adequate respiratory protection from hazardous dust.
*Continue reading to see why this mask is the top PPE choice for working with concrete.
The filters on a proper respirator mask for concrete will be able to filter 95% of the particles according to NIOSH standards.
This one size fits most respirator has filters that are rated N95 equivalent and they can be changed out when necessary, so be sure to check out the replacement filters you can also purchase.
This safety mask is pretty comfortable as far as masks go because it has a 'flex-fit' head harness and high-density elastic straps, which means it stays in position once you adjust it to your head.
There is no constant adjusting while you are creating your concrete creations. Simply put it on, adjust it, and get started with your lovely ideas.
This mask for concrete also has an anti-fog face lens, so don't worry about your breath fogging up the inside visor! It is silicone-based around the nasal area, so it is as comfortable as a full mask can be.
This mask for concrete work also has five easy to adjust straps which can be tightened with just one pull.
Beware of fakes. They may be less expensive but without the proper testing, you really don't know what you are getting as far as safety. So to make sure you get the proper mask and not a knock off, I recommend purchasing it directly from this company, especially since it comes with a 1-year factory warranty.
There's a lot of dust masks out there pretending to be the real deal.
Here's a video of this mask on our YouTube Channel.
This is a demonstration for resin safety and it's the same mask you will need for dust.
We hope you found this article useful and informative when making your concrete crafts and DIY projects.
As creators, we should always think of safety first and we hope this article gave you some extra knowledge so that you can create your beautiful concrete art safely and also protect those who are working in your concrete Etsy shops, small businesses, or classrooms.
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Here's a pin for your safety or concrete Pinterest boards.
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