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Do I Breathe or Do I See?

Peter_Koski's picture

Have never been able to figure out how to protect both my eyes and my breathing. When I wear a dust mask and glasses (or goggles) my glasses fog up and can't see.

I am certain someone has this one figured out. Help me before I go blind or get black lung

(post #89122, reply #1 of 11)


I had the same problem. Since I got a high quality dust mask, the kind with two replaceable filters that screw in (looks like a gas mask, or Darth Vader kinda) I don't fog up much at all, and I have a lot of faith in not getting all the bad stuff in my lungs, which I assure you have seen WAY too much already.

4 Years ago I built a house with an older carp. He had the nastiest cough, and was developing a heart condition even though all he did was work. He was very fit, didn't smoke, etc. He's been hospitalized a fair amount since then.

Last summer, I started coughing like him. Instead of using the dust mask when I did a predictably large amount of dust-raising, I put it on with my tool belt. I am religious with it now and don't care if others think it looks weird.

I'm the guy who always wore safety glasses and seat belts too, and have seen a lot of people take shots over the years who didn't. Sometimes I have goggles, dust mask, and ear muffs all at the same time. Look like an alien, but don't want to end up like my Grandfather, who was a carpenter and too tough to help himself along the way.

At this point it's a tough call whether I would favor the dust mask or the glasses. Wouldn't work without either.

Incidentally, I have looked at all the local stores lately, and no one seems to carry this mask--it is black with purplish colored filters. I need to get some new filters, one finally tore after 3 years.


(post #89122, reply #2 of 11)

I use a respirator and a face shield.

Face shields do not fog, and they protect eyes and face at the same time.

James DuHamel

(post #89122, reply #3 of 11)

dawg... the kind you are talking about is available at good paint stores...

(post #89122, reply #4 of 11)

ditto the above

air tight seal of the mask x face is the key to prevent fogging glasses. Hated the paper masks for years (fog) until I bought a real asbestous - proof mask for working on old buildings. No more fog on the specs because no more breath getting near them.

Down sides: moisture build up in side the mask (wipe out once an hour or so) and beard hair prevents a mask from working very well for its original purpose due to poor seal (you don't see any fighter pilots with beards because of that).

But you do start to feel like a smurf or something with the ear muffs, safety glasses, filter mask, work gloves and safety shoes on you also feel kinda indestructable (unless you fall off something high).

(post #89122, reply #5 of 11)

I like to use a "power visor" when I'm in working in a dusty environment. Something like this one:

They protect your eyes, and keep dust out of your lungs. They also keep a flow of filtered air flowing down over your face which keeps the visor from fogging up.

No doubt they look funny, but they're great. Keeps your face clean, too.

(post #89122, reply #6 of 11)

I haven't had much need for mask for a while, but when I used my full face Wilson, I also had fogging problems. I used spit and special anti-fog concoctions and they helped some but didn't eliminate the problem. I just bought an inner mask for it that fits over the nose and directs the exhaled air to the exit valve. I haven't had a chance yet to see if it actually works, but since it does separate the vision area from the breathing area, I have hope. A full face mask is considerably more pricey than the half masks, however.

Probably the surest way to have full face protection and avoid fogging is to get a full face mask with a positive air supply. I am planning on getting a small battery powered blower that will provide positive air pressure into my Wilson. Unfortunately, the price for this accessory from Wilson is about $400, so I am looking for a somewhat cheaper way to rig one up.

My problem with the half masks and the goggles is that I have never found a half mask that allows the safety glasses or goggles to sit normally on my face. Any one know of any brands that have the rubber over the nose thin enough so that safety glasses can be used?

(post #89122, reply #7 of 11)

Any one had a chest X-RAY lately???

Had one about 5 months ago. MD says chest looks like I got hit with buckshot.

Dust mask city.

(post #89122, reply #8 of 11)

Try MSA for a mask that lets you wear glasses above the nose. They have a web site. MSA makes several levels of quality, and their top of the line comes w/ 2 HEPA cartridges and a back of the head strap that is comfortable and it seals against your face like glue. I etch glass w/ "sand" and am really conscious of the dust. That stuff will really kill you - as if the other stuff won't. I wear mine for hours on end, wearing trifocals so I can see inside my cabinet. Been very happy w/ it.


(post #89122, reply #9 of 11)

OSHA ,In there berucratic wisdumb decreed that filter from one mfg. could not be sized to fit any other mfg.s fase mask . I just buy a whole new mask and a box of filters , if I can't find the old ones.

(post #89122, reply #10 of 11)

Check out

They have just about every thing for protecting your lungs, and eyes.

(post #89122, reply #11 of 11)

yeah, Gemplers.

They have got some scary a** S**t in that catalog that makes me realize that farming is a hell of a lot more chemistry and toxic material handling than I EVER imagined it could be. I mean, not even the new stuff. They list life-saving stuff just for dealing with quantities of liquid manure that makes my hair stand on end. The apparatus for handling fertilizers and pesticides have me wondering if anything is really safe to eat (it most certainly is not safe to work with if you're not careful!).

The best thing that Gemplers has is the sign that says in English, and Spanish, that "These monkeys bite and cause serious injury, keep away". Got one of those for my shop (keeps out the riff-raff!).