Originally Posted by Alpinord
A respirator does not do you any good if you do not have a complete fit/seal or the wrong type filter. Beards reduce the seal and the effectiveness.
This ain't hydrazine. There is, to the best of my knowledge, no process/work in a ski shop that requires any specific protective equipment mandated by OSHA or others with the possible exception of general things like decent ventilation and eye protection. Probably the worst thing is burning polyethylene candles...but no one does that, right?
I did a bit of research on it a few years back when one of the full time shop guys asked me about it at the last shop I worked at.
I do think a respirator is a good idea with the wax fumes, solvents, resins, plastics, and steel dust that permeate the air in a shop, but I think its overkill for a home user. One thing people often don't think of in the shop setting is the coolant. Some people react very poorly and end up with all sorts of respiratory problems when breathing a fine mist of some coolants.
Honestly though, I've never seen anyone even wear a dust mask in a shop. How would you drink your tips through a respirator? Duh.