Respirator for welding

People say that it is better to be safe than sorry. Someone who is into the welding business or welds for satisfying his own hobby should avoid the dangers of getting exposed to toxins released from welding. There are many welding respirators present out there that vow to keep you safe from the fumes but actually providing safety from toxicity all depends on the quality of the respirator.

Finding the right protective equipment for welding is a tiresome task. Since major health issues are concerned, you need to look into respirators very carefully before choosing one. The quality should outweigh the expense factor as welding gases can be harmful in the longer run. Even if you are an amateur or a hobbyist at welding and don’t do it that often, you should still protect your respiratory system from the dangerous fumes you are being exposed to.

This article discusses some of the best welding respirators that you can wear under most welding helmets. Aside from a great welder that first-timers need, to pursue welding as a hobby for more than a few months, you should consider buying one to keep you safe if you do not have proper ventilation set up to stay healthy.

MILLER ELECTRIC HALF MASK WELDING RESPIRATOR


If you are somebody who enjoys having a product that comes with added accessories, you should definitely consider getting this mask made by Miller.

Pros:

  • This respirator comes combined with eye protection, gloves, ear protection, mask, and clothing.
  • It has a good filter surface area that keeps you safe from the harmful gases. They are long-lasting and durable. Who doesn’t want a durable product worth their money?
  • One of the advantages of using this respirator is that it keeps the fogging of eyewear to the minimum.
  • The variability of the size that this respirator comes in: small/medium and medium/large, makes it a good fit for your face and head size.
  • This product has non-return valves for the exhaustion of gases. This reduces the fatigue one faces while getting the job done.

Cons:
Most reviews have been positive with regards to this product. There have been no reported bad comments or disadvantages of using this welding respirator. If there is something that people have complained about, it is the troublesome customers faced while fitting this respirator. Although others commented that it fits just fine.
Another negative comment that some of the customers reported is that it protects you when it comes to particles while welding but it does not help you avoid all the harmful gases present in the welding fumes.

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3M 6391 P100 REUSABLE RESPIRATOR GAS MASK

If you are on a budget, this mask falls in the category of one of the cheapest welding respirators on the market. Even though one might question the quality of the product because of its inexpensiveness, this product has gained a lot of positive feedback from the customers. On Amazon, it has a high average rating.

Pros:

Some of the features of this welding respirator are stated below:

  • This mask has adjustable head straps that are elastic to fit the shape and size of your head. The straps don’t lose their elasticity with continual use because of the lightweight of the headpiece. As the head size is different, this mask comes in three different sizes to give you a perfect fit.
  • Since the protection of the customer is one of the concerning factors, this respirator comes with protection against oil-based particles. This mask is also oil-proof and oil particles don’t get deposited on it.
  • The filters of this product are affordable. Once a filter of the mask fulfills its purpose, you can easily replace it with a new one.

Cons:

Even though the customers seem to be happy with the product and the feedback has been mostly positive, there are some comments that are worth noting.

Some customers complained about the fact that this mask does not come with filters as stated by many online sellers. Without filters, there is little to no protection for your respiratory system. Therefore, you should buy filters beforehand when buying this mask.
Another issue some of the customers raised was regarding the protection it provides. Even though there is no doubt about the protection against particle contaminants, even oil-based ones, this provides no protection against all the harmful gases and fumes that result from the welding process. 

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GVS ELIPSE P100 HALF MASK RESPIRATOR

If you are somebody who enjoys your product with a little style, this welding respirator gives a good and unique outlook as far as style is concerned. It has a stylish, futuristic look that catches the eye of all those customers who have an aesthetic bone in them.

Pros:
Some of the features of this product are discussed below:

  • When welding, the fumes and small breathing space of most respirators make it difficult for the worker to breathe properly. This mask has large exhaust valves that aid in breathing and minimizes resistance. It also helps remove the buildup of your breath when it condenses.
  • One of the frustrating parts of wearing a respirator is not having it properly fit you. This mask gives you the flexibility of fitting your size perfectly. It has 4 adjustable positions in which it can fit your head size.
  • It has a pleasant style and does not look like every other mask. It is unique and aesthetic.

Cons:
Most of the feedback for this mask has been positive. It does not fall short when it comes to protecting you from harmful fumes and customers are generally very happy with it. But there have been some minor reported issues too, as with any product.
Although it is a very small issue, some users have complained about the noise that this respirator makes when it discharges out the breath. Some users find this annoying given the length of time they work wearing this respirator.
Another issue that comes to light is that this mask tends to become uncomfortable in hot weather. As it is made of rubber, it makes the inside of the mask heat up a little around the nose and mouth and makes the user feel uncomfortable especially in summers.

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3M 6501QL HALF FACEPIECE REUSABLE RESPIRATOR

Pros:
Some of the features of this respirator are discussed below:

  • One of the biggest advantages you will find when buying this product is the ease with which this mask drops down from the mouth without having to unstrap it from the head. Most customers enjoy this feature and mention this advantage in their reviews.
  • Another feature that users enjoy is the ease with which this mask fits them. The straps are elastic and their elasticity remains intact even with long periods of use. The mask fits the mouth and head perfectly without much adjustment needed.
  • There is little to no moisture build-up in this mask which keeps it cool inside. The user breathes easily and does not become uncomfortable while wearing this mask even for longer durations.
  • There is an exhaust valve that keeps the moisture from building up on the eyewear or the face shield. It exhausts the exhaled breath and prevents build-up from condensation.
  • This is one of the best protecting masks. If used properly with good filters, it helps protect against 10 times the permissible concentration of harmful gases.

Cons:
As far as the protection against harmful fumes is concerned, there have been no reported issues. The customer feedback is positive in that regard. When it comes to disadvantages, there are no obvious shortcomings of this mask.

There is an issue some people face with the size of the mask but that is a minor one and can be dealt with through getting the proper size. Some users commented that the fit of the mask changes as they change the position of the head. The best you can do is wear the mask by keeping your head in the position you plan to work in.

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3M FULL FACEPIECE REUSABLE RESPIRATOR 6700

Welding is a difficult job. Especially when done in a hot temperature. To make the process less uncomfortable, using a good respirator is very important. This product is considered a good one due to the features it provides its users.

Pros:
Some of the features of this product are given below:

  • The respirator has a large lens and gives the users a good amount of visibility.
  • Since one of the most uncomfortable experiences when using a respirator is having the inside of the mask heat up, this mask comes with an air-purifying mode. It also has a mode for supplying air. This fits your needs perfectly.
  • There is a valve to let in the flow of air. This cool airflow makes the experience of using a respirator in hot temperatures a pleasant one.
  • This mask is approved by the government. It provides the required protection against the fumes and gases rising up due to welding. It also gives a high impact protection level for eyes because of the eye lens it comes with.
  • This mask can work with a large number of filters and is quite versatile.

Cons:
As mentioned above, there are a large number of filters that this respirator can work with. Each filter caters for different welding materials and has a different application. Many people find it confusing and prefer to get a respirator that comes with a single or only a few filters. Having a chart that is easier to read can also minimize this difficulty.
Another issue that users face is that debris gets etched on the mask. And once that happens, it becomes quite difficult to find the right size. The way to prevent this from happening is by using a face shield.

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What to look for in a welding respirator:

One of the reasons you should be extra vigilant when buying a respirator is because this concerns your health. It is far better to exercise safety rather than have something bad happen. You should choose the best respirator that fulfills your needs. Some of the factors that you should consider when buying one are given below.

  1. Work environment:
    What kind of harmful contaminants you will be exposed to while you are welding and whether you will have proper ventilation or not-are some of the basic questions you should ask yourself while thinking of getting a respirator.
  2. Filtration:
    You will have to decide the percentage of filtration you will need. Especially if you are not using a respirator that provides supplied or powered air.
  3. Proper fit for your size:
    Since it gets uncomfortable to wear a headpiece that is either too large or too big, you should be careful while buying a respirator. Try a few sizes on and then choose the one that is most comfortable.

Conclusion


There are many harmful effects that come with welding fumes. It becomes a necessity to wear a welding respirator since the presence of many contaminants makes it quite hazardous for health. The chromium and zinc present in the fumes may cause long term problems in your respiratory system. There are many consequences that come with welding if you are not careful. Some of them are mentioned below.

  • Issues with the central nervous system
  • Asthma
  • Lung cancer
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Irritation in nose and throat

Therefore, wearing a correctly sized respirator that gives you the protection you need is very important. Although we might not figure out the exact levels that are harmful, we do know that exposing our bodies to toxicity for longer periods can cause health issues in the longer run.