Even the smallest of sanding or cleaning projects still pose a danger and nuisance, and myself am guilty of not being more proactive over the years in keeping those hazards out of my lungs. Maybe we feel like working in extreme conditions, hour-after-hour, are the only instances where we should be more cautious. Life experience has taught me otherwise, and even minor household chores give reason for the use of a respirator: cleaning with chemicals that have a strong or irritating odor, sanding the latest project, or doing some yardwork.
3M has a full line of respirators to cope with mold, paint fumes, lead paint, welding, drywall sanding, and household odors like: bleach and cleaning chemicals.
I spoke with a representative from 3M to clear up the overlapping product numbers. The specs of the respirators with the same part # are the same, but repackaged for marketing purposes. Examples include: the disposable 8210 (dust, insulation, sawing) & 8247 (odor relief) respirators, which span across several different packaging uses for the Home and Leisure, as well as industrial use.
3M Tekk Home & Leisure Respirators
These are the most common types of respirators geared toward homeowners, and found at any home improvement stores. Note: Large stores may place respirators in various locations for specific use: e.g. paint section, drywall section, and tool section.
- The Disposable Respirator Buying Guide will bring clarity to the variations of respirators and their usage. Information listed will include: product selector, particulate filter types (N, R, or P series), filter efficiency, fitting guide, and respirator features. A must read to understand individual respirator purposes and compare.
- Sizing – Several respirators will offer sizing options for different face types. e.g. 8110s has the same specs as an 8210, but designed for a smaller face. A 6000 series Paint Protection Respirator can be bought in small, medium , and large. Be sure to read the above linked buying guide in detail for other model numbers that apply, as-well-as read each individual product description for sizing options.
- Comfort – There is going to be trial and error process if looking for the most comfortable and best fit for each face, as products vary in design slightly. For a disposable particulate respirator, I found through testing that an 8511 has a better match for my face, than say the 8210.
- Eyewear Fog Prevention – The 3M Cool Flow Valve can help in mild to moderate conditions. Make sure to adjust the respirator nosepiece properly per instructions for the best fit and seal, but when conditions are hot enough…a person is perspiring enough, there is no escaping eyewear fogging with standard goggles and respirator, as heat escaping from the face is causing too much humidity. A full face mask with better external ventilation is the only recourse.
For more versatility, look into reusable respirators.
- Complete Full and Half Face Selection Guide
- Cartridge and Filter Guide
- Can offer better overall comfort.
- Models with the drop-down feature allow users to lower the mask without removing hard hat or eyewear.
- Can be used with various breathing tube options (SA-1500, SA-1600, and more). Refer to the included product instructions for more information.
3M Environmental & Workplace
For more specialized work and industrial use, 3M offers their line of particulate respirators. Some of the Home and Leisure product # respirators are included, while adding several other versions for specific needs beyond the household.