On some jobs you may be exposed to various substances in the air that may be harmful to your health. It is important to know what they are and how to guard against them.
Basically, breathing hazards are of two types: dusts and vapors. Dusts are tiny specks of matter that float in the air. The ones too tiny to even see with the naked eye are the most dangerous because they go farthest down into the lungs. In some dusty work environments a dust mask may be adequate. In others, a respirator may be required.
Usually a respirator is used to filter out vapors from certain lacquers and other chemicals. For these, a dustmask is ineffective because the vapors have no difficulty penetrating the fibers in the mask. A respirator should be used, and one with the proper filter. After a filter becomes saturated and you have difficulty breathing through it, it’s time to replace it with a new one.
Unlike dusts, unhealthy vapors usually affect the liver rather than the lungs. Usually open windows and fans can considerably reduce the vapors, but you may still need a respirator. Read the labels on cans and keep yourself informed of vapor hazards.
* Take a Deep Breath – Safely *