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Respirator when waxing?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'm seeing more and more respirators for sale in my equipment catelogs.

Is there a need to protect your lungs from hydrocarbon and fluorocarbon wax smoke, wax remover fumes, repair material smoke, etc?

I like the smell... I doubt it's causing any dain bramage
post #2 of 20
fluoros are bad for you.
post #3 of 20
…if they are now worried about microwave [cheese flavored] popcorn vapor; hydrocarbon and fluorocarbon fumes can’t be far behind…
post #4 of 20
you should be fine at regular waxing temperatures
post #5 of 20
I like the smell... I doubt it's causing any dain bramage

OMG... That's the funniest thing that I have read all day.

No further thoughts on the topic. I have a headache. Let me tell you, that fluoro was some good stuff!
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski1024 View Post
I like the smell... I doubt it's causing any dain bramage
That's why God invented the Spell Checker for Ski Forums. You should see my typing without it. (Much less, hear me talk with only 5 brain cells.) :

If I find an MIA good article on the topic, I will post. Fluoros and solvents don't play nice with brain cells. Hydrocarbons are petroleum based and like smoke from any plastic material (ie, ptex), I'd suggest erring toward not breathing the stuff and work with good ventilation first, and consider an appropriate respirator as more of a secondary option than a solution. 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.

The ones I know of are not cheap and are:
Quote:
....made of soft super soft silicon that assures an airtight fit. The filters are designed for protecting from all organic gases and toxic fumes, mists and vapors that can be expelled while working with all types of waxes and fluoro additives....
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski1024 View Post
I'm seeing more and more respirators for sale in my equipment catelogs.

Is there a need to protect your lungs from hydrocarbon and fluorocarbon wax smoke, wax remover fumes, repair material smoke, etc?

I like the smell... I doubt it's causing any dain bramage
I always wax outside and I make sure I dont get the wax hot enough to smoke. If it does I'll stop and turn my iron temp down befor I start waxing again. It can be dangerous and make sure your not rolling any cigaretts with wax on your fingers especially fluorocarbon. I dont know about killing brain cells but it will screw your lungs up.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBV13 View Post
It can be dangerous and make sure your not rolling any cigaretts with wax on your fingers especially fluorocarbon. I dont know about killing brain cells but it will screw your lungs up.
Don't breathe any fluro's when rolling you cigs - well come on you can't be that worried about whats inhalated into your body.
post #9 of 20
i thought you needed to be certified to use a respirator? basically, each respirator is custom fit to the individual so it creates a tight seal around the mouth/nose. If the seal is compromised, you're inhaling whatever's in the air. atleast, i think that's what OSHA requires for laboratories...not sure if it applies to shops
post #10 of 20
The fumes must be bad - cause that smell is sooooo good. On a winter day you are out in your unheated ski shed with a cup of coffee and the iron to keep you warm, and then the wax you didn't clean off the iron heats up enough to wipe off, and the smell starts to permeate the room. ...and you know that you'll be skiing soon. (damn, my brain is releasing those good chemicals that put a smile on my face just by typing this!)
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
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.
post #12 of 20
I am sure the products used to maintain skis are not good for our health. Heck even natural particles like wood and grain dust are bad for you. Basically nothing foreign will do you well. However for the guy maintaining his and his families skis I doubt the brief exposure will be any more harmful than driving on a road with other emissions emitting cars.

For a guy working in a ski shop whereby he is exposed to these chemicals and particles all day for a weeks on end, then it would probably be wise to protect himself.

I have worn a filter and safety glasses when brushing, too much was getting airborn and all over my face, and I nearly always wear protection when I might be inhaling anything that might be bad for me no matter what I am doing. But usually do not have to wear a mask for ski maintenance.
post #13 of 20
I don't know what all the different ski waxes various ingredients are. But I can tell you most waxes,parafin based, are at the bottom of the petroleum refining process. It is the sludge that is left over when all else usable has been refined out. As I learned from friends who own parrots & birds, you NEVER,EVER burn a parafin candle in a bird household. They keel over dead. Over heating teflon cookwear will cause bird death also. Natural Bees wax is safe to burn as a candle. So far as heating the wax vs burning as fuel, I couldnt tell you what toxins end up in the air. I also suspect the toxins don't end up just in the lungs & brain.
A simple painters respirator does filter a great many particles without requiring the training & certification of an SCBA. And can be had for under $20.00. Worth using when waxing IMHO. However in a shop situation, you cannot wear either of these for lengthy periods of time & would be better off utilizing a commercial exhaust set up for employee/customer safety.
post #14 of 20
Melloboy: I'm guessing for an industrial worker that a more sophisticated mask is appropriate, but for the average Joe, the masks actually do come in different sizes to allow for better fits.

911over: There is a distinct difference between heating a wax such that some molecules get converted to gas phase (in this case the molecule is still intact or unbroken) versus burning it which is a chemical reaction with oxygen converting it to a new molecule (in this case bonds are broken and a new chemical is formed) that may be more hazardous. So in the first case, say get the wax hot but not smoking it, the hazard would not be equivalent to burning the wax where oxidized wax products and by-products or maybe free radical (highly reactive) molecules are breathed in. This is similar to say meat, where moderate cooking is better than BBQing where the black charred (the best part of course) bits contain harmful by-products from the burning process.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor D View Post
Melloboy: I'm guessing for an industrial worker that a more sophisticated mask is appropriate, but for the average Joe, the masks actually do come in different sizes to allow for better fits.
I might be wrong about this, but because of the hazardous waste produced (used emulsion with metal and ptex dust), I thought OSHA had some jurisdiction over how shops are run. Basically, if OSHA does happen to come in and sees someone uncertified using a respirator the shop can be fined, is what I thought I had read somewhere...considering I've worked primarily in science labs, though, I might be getting everything mixed up too
post #16 of 20
Aside from the fumes, I suppose that one should be concerned with the fine wax particles when brushing out skis (especially rotobrushing). The larger particles remain on the skis, but I would think that the very fine particles could be inhaled.
Started waxing skis this week and "allergies" seem to be bothering me...
Maybe it's a good time to try a respirator or a serious dust mask.
post #17 of 20
MelloBoy,

I used to work for a composites company. Respirator training consisted of two things. The first step was a trip to a doctor to record lung capacity and breath rate. This was to check that the individual had enough lung to breath through a restricting filter, as well as to serve as a baseline for any lung damage.

The second step was five minutes with the safety manger. He would pick out a mask that properly fit your face, adjust the straps, show you how to clean it and tell you that the mask will not fit properly over a beard.

Not a whole lot of training actually involved. They have since switched to fresh air supplies that do not rely on a seal to the face, and to not restrict breathing, so the training and medical check has been eliminated.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by krp8128 View Post
MelloBoy,

I used to work for a composites company. Respirator training consisted of two things. The first step was a trip to a doctor to record lung capacity and breath rate. This was to check that the individual had enough lung to breath through a restricting filter, as well as to serve as a baseline for any lung damage.

The second step was five minutes with the safety manger. He would pick out a mask that properly fit your face, adjust the straps, show you how to clean it and tell you that the mask will not fit properly over a beard.

Not a whole lot of training actually involved. They have since switched to fresh air supplies that do not rely on a seal to the face, and to not restrict breathing, so the training and medical check has been eliminated.
Well, certification means that you've gone through the appropriate steps to wear one in certain environments safely. I went through the same steps (god the lung capacity test blows...it's pretty tough to blow through a huge tube for 5 seconds straight for as hard as possible...start shaking at the end to squeeze the last bit of air out of my lungs lol) and the fitting/cleaning/when to change filters, etc. I was working with large quantities of bromine so that's why I have a certification for my respirator.

But as I've mentioned, if ski shops to an extent are under OSHA jurisdiction for safety and they come and see an uncertified employee wearing a respirator, the shop can get fined. For home/personal use well I don't think they really care lol.

OT: I was just thinking about the FCC episode on Family Guy, but with OSHA lol
post #19 of 20
There are multiple filter choices depending on the toxins you need to filter out or capture. First you need to know the toxins released from the fluorocarbon wax, then you need the correct filter for your respirator. Here're some examples:
http://www.professionalequipment.com/3M-filters/
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cookie Monster View Post
you should be fine at regular waxing temperatures

Sanity

Fluoros should not be burned near human lungs, but they can be carried in melted wax without hazard. If I waxed skis eight hours a day I'd worry about the wax fumes, but fluoro fumes are not an issue unless you are doing something very wrong.
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