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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never used respirators before when stripping or staining, but with age and headaches comes wisdom.

I know I need one, but in looking at the store I guess I have no idea what I need.

I gathered the 95 rating is only good for dust.

More concerned with inhaling the stripper fumes and the stain fumes.

I have 8 chairs I need to get stripped and done before the garage becomes cold so I need to get going.

I generally use the strippers from HD, Menards, etc. Will a Stanley or AO, etc respirator with organic rated cartridges work?

Also I normally wear chemical gloves that come up about mid forearm when using stripper and long sleeves. Is that enough or should I be looking for more?

Right now I'm still in the hobby stage but with room running out in the house I'd like to start doing stuff for other people and have no aversion to getting properly setup when it comes to PPE.
 

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I've never used respirators before when stripping or staining, but with age and headaches comes wisdom.

I know I need one, but in looking at the store I guess I have no idea what I need.

I gathered the 95 rating is only good for dust.

More concerned with inhaling the stripper fumes and the stain fumes.

I have 8 chairs I need to get stripped and done before the garage becomes cold so I need to get going.

I generally use the strippers from HD, Menards, etc. Will a Stanley or AO, etc respirator with organic rated cartridges work?

Also I normally wear chemical gloves that come up about mid forearm when using stripper and long sleeves. Is that enough or should I be looking for more?

Right now I'm still in the hobby stage but with room running out in the house I'd like to start doing stuff for other people and have no aversion to getting properly setup when it comes to PPE.
While it's a good idea to wear a paint respirator while staining or finishing especially if you are spraying it, you should not wear one stripping furniture. The carcinogen in paint stripper will build in intensity in the respirator and will pass through the filters. Then when you get done and start staining while you are wearing the respirator you are still breathing the carcinogen from the remover because it stays with the respirator. The only respirator that will really protect you is a air supplied respirator and they are pretty expensive. It has a compressor made human consumption which you put away from where you are working and it pumps fresh air to the respirator.

I don't use one. I strip furniture outdoors and try to stay upwind from the chemicals.
 

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Pain in the A$$
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A couple things to start with. First, start with the stripping chemical you plan on using and then look for its Material Safety Data Sheet. There is some useful info on it. As far as the carcinogenic strippers, most of the non-industrial stuff doesn't contain that. Methylene Chloride was one if the worse, but it had many names.

As far as respirators themselves, you will most likely be looking for ones which are good for organic vapors.
 

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In History is the Future
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I don't do any refinishing, hence I don't use any strippers but I use organic / acid canisters in a half mask from 3M for spraying anything with a solvent base. I would venture to guess the same would be applicable for stripper.

Keep the mask in a sealed bag when not in use.

I picked up another mask and filters for a helper yesterday and it was a whopping $8 for the mask and $12 for filters at Grainger - granted I get a hearty discount with my acct there. I believe the book price is around $30-$35 and well worth the money spent.

The other option is a full face, I have an MSA full face mask but never use it because the canisters are so dang expensive - $70 if I recall correctly? In leu of the full face I wear glasses because it's easy to get back spray in your eyes when spraying in tight spaces.

Good luck.
 

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Pain in the A$$
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Don't forget that unless the respirator fits you properly, you might as well not be wearing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So Steve you are saying unless I want to shell out for a PAPR style mask I am just better off taking the hit while stripping?
 

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Pain in the A$$
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So Steve you are saying unless I want to shell out for a PAPR style mask I am just better off taking the hit while stripping?
While PAPR's are great, they aren't always necessary. A good fitting respirator with the proper filter can protect you. Why don't you post a photo of the stripper you plan on using? It might help.


On a side note, I would also suggest using "harsh" chemical outside where there is much better ventilation, regardless of which respirator (if any) is used.
 

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So Steve you are saying unless I want to shell out for a PAPR style mask I am just better off taking the hit while stripping?
It's been about 20 years since I closed my refinishing shop. Somebody may have invented a respirator for daily use of methylene chloride but I was instructed by the Kwick Kleen remover company not to use a paint respirator with removers. They told me to put in an exhaust fan instead that a paint respirator would expose me to more of the carcinogen than not using one at all. The reason was a paint respirator was made to catch the hydrocarbons of the solvents but using it with stripper it catches the methylene chloride and lets some through the respirator every time it is used. A couple of years later OSHA insisted I get a air supplied respirator for my workers that there was no canister respirator for daily use and the fan wasn’t enough. When I closed my shop I sold the equipment so I don't have the respirator anymore but I still use removers often. I just do it outdoors where I can get ample ventilation. It's one thing to be exposed to something bad for you and occupational overexposure. Stripping a few pieces of furniture a year I can't see it hurting anyone. Where I was refinishing I had a 4'x8' open tank with 16" sides that had a drain in the corner which ran into a 5 gallon pail. Then it had a pump that would pump the stripper through a hose out the center of a scrub brush. We were circulating so much remover the fumes coming off of it were really strong.
 

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Old School
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I don't do any refinishing, hence I don't use any strippers but I use organic / acid canisters in a half mask from 3M for spraying anything with a solvent base. I would venture to guess the same would be applicable for stripper.

Keep the mask in a sealed bag when not in use.

I picked up another mask and filters for a helper yesterday and it was a whopping $8 for the mask and $12 for filters at Grainger - granted I get a hearty discount with my acct there. I believe the book price is around $30-$35 and well worth the money spent.

The other option is a full face, I have an MSA full face mask but never use it because the canisters are so dang expensive - $70 if I recall correctly? In leu of the full face I wear glasses because it's easy to get back spray in your eyes when spraying in tight spaces.

Good luck.
+1. :yes: If you can smell it, you're inhaling it. A two cartridge respirator for solvents works well. The cartridges aren't expensive and with doing any amount of stripping or work that produces vapors, changing the cartridges regularly keeps them effective.

Whether the need for a respirator is only once in a while, doesn't mean that doing the work outside is better than wearing a respirator. Some people are more sensitive to the toxicity than others. Any stripper, even the waterbase ones carry an amount of VOC's.






.
 

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Pain in the A$$
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methylene chloride
This is why I had asked about the MSDS & wanting to know what chemical was being used. For the most part, methylene chloride use has gone down alot, especially in the home use products.


If you can smell it, you're inhaling it. A two cartridge respirator for solvents works well. The cartridges aren't expensive and with doing any amount of stripping or work that produces vapors, changing the cartridges regularly keeps them effective.

Whether the need for a respirator is only once in a while, doesn't mean that doing the work outside is better than wearing a respirator. Some people are more sensitive to the toxicity than others. Any stripper, even the waterbase ones carry an amount of VOC's.
Some very good points here. Also keep in mind that with many chemicals, your sense of smell may be misleading as your senses become "used" to the smell and you no longer smell it. This is referred to as "olfactory fatigue".



I would also like to add that with some chemicals, it technically may only takes (1) exposure to make you sick. For example (while not actually a chemical), one single exposure to one single asbestos fiber can actually cause asbestosis or mesothelioma. Therefore, it is always good practice to do whatever you can to eliminate inhalation exposures. Look for adequate ventilation and/or ductwork to remove the air contaminants. This is always preferred over wearing respirators, but not always possible. I personally have a few respiartors to choose from, depending on the hazard, I also plan on getting a PAPR but haven't actually had good need for it yet.
 

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I have been commercially stripping for close to 30 years.
As far as I know there are no really effective filters and respirators on the normal market.

Keep in mind that methylene chloride is heavier than air and the fumes settle kinda low to the ground. Don't work low.

The safest method for working with MC is to have a helmet set-up with a compressor/pump bringing fresh air from an outside source through a long hose. These set-ups run around $500 and I have yet to see any commercial strippers using them.
The next best method is to have fans at ground level and train yourself to work upwind. This is by far the most common method.

When you buy MC from a refinishing supplier, not only will it be less expensive that what is locally available, it will be much stronger.

Good luck on your new venture.

I will send you a PM with my phone number if you have any more questions as I rarely frequent this forum anymore.

regards

Tony B
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Thanks guys

So what I gather is when I strip I should work outside, or if it is raining, etc with the garage door open and a fan blowing. But a respirator won't really do anything for the crap in the stripper.

But a respirator for staining still.

I know I have some of this on the shelf right now
http://www.menards.com/main/paint/c...stripfast-power-stripper/p-1963283-c-8159.htm

Used similar stuff from HD, etc.

Reading all the technical MSDS I don't understand it says "do not use chemical cartridge respirator"...I assume that is any off the shelf half mask I would buy at the hardware store.
 

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Thanks guys

So what I gather is when I strip I should work outside, or if it is raining, etc with the garage door open and a fan blowing. But a respirator won't really do anything for the crap in the stripper.

But a respirator for staining still.

I know I have some of this on the shelf right now
http://www.menards.com/main/paint/c...stripfast-power-stripper/p-1963283-c-8159.htm

Used similar stuff from HD, etc.

Reading all the technical MSDS I don't understand it says "do not use chemical cartridge respirator"...I assume that is any off the shelf half mask I would buy at the hardware store.
It means what I've been saying that using any cartridge respirator is worse than using none at all. The only cartridge respirator I know of for methylene chloride is one they use in the manufacturing companies and warehouses where it is manufactured for emergency use only. It's meant only to use in a mishap for workers to escape from the building.
 
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