Respirator Filter Storage

      For long life, respirator filter cartridges should be stored in a sealed bag or container when not in use. April 30, 2009

I was having a discussion with a friend about typical respirator cartridges. I was wondering if you need to keep them in a sealed bag between usage to prolong the life of the charcoal filter. During our discussion we both assumed you really needed air movement to really wear out the filters. He was brushing his boat with Awlgrip (for which coincidentally charcoal respirator don't work). He asked the boat guys the same question about bagging the cartridges. They told him that OSHA mandates that you keep them in a bag even at lunch time. If you are not breathing then they should be bagged. If this is true, I've been breathing an awful lot of waterborne solvents for a few years.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor K:
Yes you should always bag it.

From contributor R:
Awlgrip is one of the nastiest finishes know to mankind. I think it, along with Dura-Plast were outlawed in the state of California due to it being to toxic. I could be wrong about that but I used a couple of gallons of Awlgrip quite a number of years ago and was sick for about a week after that.

My "mentors" preached the use of respirators since I became a finisher, and I did use the same kind of respirator back then as I do now, but it didnít help with the Awlgrip. That type of coating requires an air assisted respirator while spraying and while the object that was sprayed is off-gassing in the dry room.You need to keep the cartridges in an enclosed- air tight container when not in use. I found the best and easiest thing to do is to unscrew the cartridges and put them into an air-tight "snapware" container. I found this container at Lucky Supermarket and they are great.

Do yourself and your loved ones a favor and secure your chemical cartridges in an air-tight container when you not using your respirator. Also, on the edge of the chemical cartridges is a place to mark the day and month showing when you replaced them. It really depends on how much you spray and what you spray but I changed both charcoal cartridges every other week. Lungs are important, take as good a care of them as humanly possible.

From contributor L:
OSHA does indeed require it to be in a sealed container any time youíre not wearing it. You are also supposed to have a respirator program in place that explains usage and maintenance, with a schedule in place for changing filters. Youíre also supposed to be checked out by the doctor to make sure youíre healthy enough to wear one. I'm a two man shop, and I know this sounds like a lot of BS, but I found out the hard way when OSHA did random air quality checks in our area. We passed all the tests with flying colors, but then got tagged for not having manuals (there are several you need), one being a respirator manual.

From contributor S:
It can't just be a plastic bag. Notice what 3M uses for its disposable respirators. A Mylar metal coated bag will not allow any gas through. Plastic is permeable which is why it is inadequate.

From the original questioner:
That makes perfect sense. Kind of like those Mylar balloons that you are supposed to use with helium. The typical rubber ballons are air porous and the helium goes through them quick. My kid had a helium Mylar balloon floating around his room for a week. Where do you get those bags? Are there airtight boxes available?

From contributor S:
Don't know. I use the 3M respirators so they come with them. I've never seen them sold separately.

From contributor R:
The Snapware box I mentioned is about as air tight as it gets. Itís made from 1/8" plastic with a four clasp locking bar on each side, and a thick rubber seal on the lid.

From contributor F:
Cartridges for spraying should be combination organic vapor and particulate. Change-out schedules are required in industry to prevent clogging the filters. Storage in a gallon baggie is a good idea. Moist environments shorten cartridge life.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Dust Collection, Safety, Plant Management

  • KnowledgeBase: Dust Collection, Safety, Plant Management: Safety Equipment

  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing

  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing: General Wood Finishing

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2016 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article