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Respirator Advice - Questions...

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by OFADAN, Nov 18, 2012.


    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    Recently I scored quite the haul of new industrial half and full face mask North respirators and cartridges. I'm very ignorant about these devices and certainly could benefit from those who know more than I do! For preparedness I would think having access to these would be beneficial. Also with the looming concerns about Nuke, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) possiblities - having the capabilty of outfitting my family and circle of trust with these might behoove me.

    What I inherited are mostly North Half Masks in the 7700 series and a number of the North 7581P100 combo cartridges which I understand work effectively against most Organic Vapors such as chlorine, hydrogen chloride, & fluoride, sulfur dioxide et al.
    I also have a few of the North 75SCP100 which is considered the "Defender Multi-Purpose" cartridge and the N7500-1 cartridge.

    I do know how to fit myself with a respirator as I've been trained and qualified for "Fit testing." I've been through the class on fit testing and have tested others. So I'm semi-competent in wearing and fitting myself and family with these devices.

    Where I have a gap is knowing what cartridge to wear with what - under what conditions. I realize respirators are not Gas Mask so they will not work or cannot work with CN/CS and OC.

    But for a disaster such as an overturned train or tractor/trailer spilling industrial chemicals such as organic vapors I know they'll work fine. But what happens if we have a flu outbreak, release of small pox or other biological situation? What I'd like to know is can I purchase a cartridge to protect myself from Nuclear and/or Biological? And if so which cartridge(s)?

    From my novice research is appears what I really need is a Gas Mask using either the North 40CBRN or the 40RCP100 canisters which are for the North gas mask. It says these are for NBC. If so which cartridge would be most advised?

    And assuming I"m asking too much from this North 7700 series then I guess I can just keep these in the truck in the event I come across a train or truck wreck involving a spill.

    I'd be really appreciative if someone with a background in this technology and devices would weigh in here and provide me/us with Respirator 101!
  2. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    It's been a while since I've been to a hazmat class,but you should be able to go to the man. website to see what they will filter.
    I believe they are rated on microns,so some chemical masks will work for other things.
    Sounds like you are way ahead of most folks right now.

    BTW.... when dealing with chemicals,make sure the masks are what you need.Your body may fight off a virus but some chemicals do instantaneous damage to your system.
  3. Thebastidge

    Thebastidge 10411 NE Fourth Plain Blvd Vancouver WA 98662 Well-Known Member

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    For nuclear fallout, the main concern is keeping radioactive particulates outside your body. They wash off reasonably easily, but you can't flush them out of your system as easily. Most of these particles will be in dust-sized clumps, so a respirator DOES help. You still want to minimize exposure with time, distance, and shielding.

    Biologicals: dosage matters. If you get one droplet of virus-containing saliva from someone else's sneeze or they sneeze directly in your face with several mL of snot and spit may very well mean the difference between your immune system recognizing the virus and ramping up in time to prevent systemic infection. Likewise with bacteria. Your filter may not be fine enough to prevent a virus-sized particle, but it doesn't haev to be in order to help. Most biollogicals are contained in some other matter- spit, snot, blood, or dirt, so keeping the (relatively speaking) larger particles out keeps out a great deal of the biologicals as well.

    Medical personnel wear cloth or paper masks all the time to lessen the risk of infection- they've been proven to help a significant amount. Don't let the lack of a perfect solution lead you to not use a less-than-perfect but better-than-nohthng solution.

    But to be more specific, I would check the manufacturer's web page for the micron-rating of each filter that fits the model masks you have. Very few will technically be fine enough to filter out a virus (1 to 3 microns). Some chemicals will be even smaller than that and would need a checmically active filter to remove them,
  4. ernurse

    ernurse molalla oregon Active Member

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    Dan as the local HazMat guru heres my thoughts.
    A half face respirator would work fine with most airborne threats, most nbc rated filters will do fine with cs/cn as they are actually suspended particles in the air and the mask will filter them, the unfortunate part is that many threats will burn the daylights out of exposed skin and eyes. your tear ducts drain right into the back of your throat and sinuses. thats why full face masks are often used. Post 911 with grant monies we bought powered respirators and some full mask types with canisters and no power. The masks that most health care practitioners wear are m-95 or similar in filtering effeciency, they are designed to filter out the airborne flu virus and do great against other bacteria and viruses that are carried about by Fomites. Fomites are the millions of visible and invisible droplets excreted by mammals when they cough or sneeze. remember the slow motion picture of the sneeze, all that snot is considered fomites. Half masks are better than nothing, but for serious contaminates trade up to a full face mask, also many things are absorbed thru the skin and eyes, and being blind from chlorine, ammonia or phosgene would not do you any good. also most filters once opened, or secured to a mask have very limited life, when exposed to an agent their lifespan is reduced quicker, many lasting only 45 minutes or so, but often enough time to evacuate. Also remember that respirators only filter the air, in an enviroment with low oxygen be it from fire, chemicals or whatever do not use them as youll soon use up all your oxygen reserves and fall victim to asphyxia, this is why in true hazmat inidents we wear complete masks or self contained breathing appartus. If you would to discuss this further please IM me, and so u know im not your bsic flake, Ive trained on the federal, state,city and hospital levels and am a certified haz Mat Trainer, advanced haz mat life support certified among many others and once in another life was the NBC officer in my unit in the marines after graduating from the Corps best haz mat school with honors, so feel free to im me or we can chat on the phone, Regards ernurse
    safetyman and (deleted member) like this.