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Sorghumrunner

face respirators and beards

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I've started milling grain with our new hammer mill and am getting a lot of dust exposure.  I picked up a half mask respirator with the standard cartridges, and try to wear it pretty snug, but still feel like I'm getting exposure (coughing up a lung at night).  I do have a full beard, so I'm trying to figure out if I'm just letting particulates in through the beard/mask contact, or if I need to switch to HEPA filters...

 Before I shave it off, is anyone getting around this successfully?  I know theres more than a few bearded grain distillers out there...

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Some of our beardos have efficiently used the beard nets (like hair nets but beard nets) to help better seal their respirators.

 

On the other hand our bearded dragons simply use their extended facial hairs tied like a shemagh around their craniums to filter grain dust. 

 

The choice is yours bearded one.

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Luckily we do not have to wear respirators in Denver since our fire department is so strict and will not allow any dust in our facility. Down side is I had to buy an expensive dustless mill. 

In my brewing days, I found that the 3m and honeywell north full mask respirators seal well with beards (although my beard is pretty thin). There are a few PAPR respirators that will cover your whole head like an astronaut, but they are over $1k. A cheaper solution would be a rest-o-rator which works like a scuba mouthpiece and precut cheap, though I'm not sure if it is OSHA approved.  

That being said, any facial hair while wearing a respirator is agains OSHA, even if it seals tight. 

 The Respiratory Protection standard, paragraph 29 CFR 1910.134(g)(1)(i)(A), states that respirators shall not be worn when facial hair comes between the sealing surface of the facepiece and the face or that interferes with valve function. Facial hair is allowed as long as it does not protrude under the respirator seal, or extend far enough to interfere with the device's valve function. Short mustaches, sideburns, and small goatees that are neatly trimmed so that no hair compromises the seal of the respirator usually do not present a hazard and, therefore, do not violate paragraph 1910.134(g)(1)(i).

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Can you exhaust the room better?  I grew up in a woodworker's shop and never had that much trouble unless sanding - but pop's had an awesome dust collection system too.

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21 hours ago, nabtastic said:

Can you exhaust the room better?  I grew up in a woodworker's shop and never had that much trouble unless sanding - but pop's had an awesome dust collection system too.

hopefully in our next incarnation.  I think that what's been affecting me is the Diatomaceous Earth in the rye.  may need to lose the beard!

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We mill outside due to the dust and wear half face mask with dust catridges.  I used to work in environmental remediation and we always had to have a clean shave when we did the respirator fitting test to get a good seal. Curious, why does grain have DE in it?  To prevent bugs?  It really is terrible to breath and not good for your eyes either.

 

 

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