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Djsnowboy267

Gas mask with benzene?

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I am working on a project where I need to handle some benzene. I have an mcu-2/p gas mask, all I need are new filters. Would this be sufficient protection against benzene?

If not, what do you recommend?

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You don't need a gas mask for handling benzene. You need a fume hood. Gas masks are primarily used in cases of emergency.

In case you're not working with a fume hood and there's more than a brief exposure in a ventilated nonliving room, you need to position yourself so that the wind current is carrying away the vapors. Work outside.

What is the nature of exposure? Time of exposure, number of exposures, temperature of benzene, where is it, etc.?

Edited by lajoswinkler

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You don't need a gas mask for handling benzene. You need a fume hood. Gas masks are primarily used in cases of emergency.

I am not sure 3M shares your opinion.

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This site, at the very least, RECOMMENDS a gas mask.

http://www.ccohs.ca/products/databases/samples/npg.html

Regardless whether or not it is necessary, I would like to have one on hand just in case anyways. We are working in rooms with no windows, and a pretty old fume hood. Plus, I wouldn't mind actually getting some use out of the masks too.

I just want to know whether the masks I have right now, MCU-2/P, would be sufficient. It would be cheaper for me to order new filters for the masks than to buy new masks altogether.

Also, I am not entirely sure how much benzene we will be working with under what conditions at this point.

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You really shouldn't be asking a game forum for advice on toxicology precautions. Consult your safety data sheet and the masks manual. If in doubt contact the manufacturer. Don't be basing your handling of toxic chemicals over what anonymous people on a game forum tell you.

http://www.cpchem.com/msds/100000068511_SDS_US_EN.PDF Safety data sheet for benzene.

"Wear a supplied-air NIOSH approved respirator" so no, since a mcu-2/p gas mask is not air supplied it would not be sufficient. And as already discussed a gas mask is an extra emergency precaution. An adequate fume hood should be your main concern. If you do not think your fume hood is good enough and as such require to wear a respirator, you definitely do not have the facilities to work with toxic chemicals no matter how good your gas mask is.

To add to this, if you do not know how to find the answer to this question yourself you are DEFINITELY not qualified to work with toxic chemicals and most certainly should give up on whatever project it is you wish to work on until you are adequately trained.

Edited by BlueCosmology

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Since you're asking for this advice on the KSP forum, I assume you're a terrorist and I advise you to not wear a gas mask, heat up the benzene and give it a really good sniff.

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Since you're asking for this advice on the KSP forum, I assume you're a terrorist and I advise you to not wear a gas mask, heat up the benzene and give it a really good sniff.

Damn haven't laughed like that in a while.

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I am not sure 3M shares your opinion.

Well as someone who worked with benzene in a laboratory, I can assure you that you don't use a gas mask for it. You use a fume hood unless the exposure is unimportant or very rare. For example opening a bottle and transfering a small quantity using an automated pipette to a test tube once in a while next to a window is something that won't kill you immediatelly or gradually. It is a dangerous chemical, but not a boogeyman. There's way more danger of labs where solvents are kept in an inadequate storage area where they are exposed to heat and are keeping a constant, unhealthy level of vapors in the work area. That's when a gas mask is applicable, although it's of course logical to do something about the source than to spend a fortune on filters during the years.

Of course 3M will try to spook the crap out of everyone. It's their job to sell these things.

This site, at the very least, RECOMMENDS a gas mask.

http://www.ccohs.ca/products/databases/samples/npg.html

Regardless whether or not it is necessary, I would like to have one on hand just in case anyways. We are working in rooms with no windows, and a pretty old fume hood. Plus, I wouldn't mind actually getting some use out of the masks too.

I just want to know whether the masks I have right now, MCU-2/P, would be sufficient. It would be cheaper for me to order new filters for the masks than to buy new masks altogether.

Also, I am not entirely sure how much benzene we will be working with under what conditions at this point.

No windows? That's never good.

Fume hood can be old, but if it pulls the air and keeps a negative pressure in the room, and you aren't spilling benzene over the floor or in shallow trays, or keep exposed beakers and flasks of it around, and you don't do this often, I see no problem.

Undamaged MCU-2/P is more than adequate, but remember that solvents cross the skin barrier. Chronic exposure to higher levels of vapors with mask only is not healthy as benzene will enter your body through your skin.

Also, remember that filters are rated for vapor concentration and time they provide healthy enough air to breathe.

I don't know the US standards (I bet they're different from the rest of the world like everything else), but in an unlikely case you're using EU standards, use type A filter (brown) with the approapriate class rating (1, 2 or 3). 1 should be enough because if you need 2 or 3, you really need a protective suit.

Mask_filters_UE_grades.jpg

I must say that, if you don't know these things yourself, or couldn't find it yourself, you probably shouldn't work with benzene.

Edited by lajoswinkler

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Trust me, this isn't the only place I've asked. I have been looking around other forums as well as looking over safety sheets and manuals for the mask and chemicals. The reason I put this up on here is mainly for further input, I wouldn't trust the sole opinion of one person on here, or anywhere else, but I know most people on the KSP forums are above average intelligence and could at least give some additional input.

Also, regarding the requirement for an air supply/positive pressure mask, that only applies for high or unknown concentrations of the chemical. At the moment I don't know how much and am trying to figure out, but respirators and full face masks with filters work for lower concentrations.

Regarding the fume hood and facilities, I haven't gotten a chance to use the fume hood, all I said is that it was old. Could work great for all I know.

Also, you are correct in saying I am definitely not trained for activities like this. I am working with a small group at the University of Iowa, and I mainly run the vacuum pump and do some testing with PMTs. I suppose it is my fault for wording my posts as if I am the only one using the masks. I don't think I would even be handling the benzene much, it would be older, more qualified people. I was told we might do some work with benzene but safety recommendations were to have a respirator, and I mentioned I have two at home. I want to know if those are sufficient, but unfortunately I can't say for certain unless I know the concentrations we are working with, which are most likely not that high but I am unsure. Trust me, I'm not going to run around a sealed room with benzene doing nothing but wearing a mask that may or may not be effective.

Once again, I come to the KSP forums for a bit of additional advice, because I know most of you guys are smart, kind people. Not gonna take anybodies post as a 100% guarantee of being correct. I like being able to ask direct questions to a knowledgeable person and get at least an educated along with professional, standard info.

I am not a terrorist (but that's totally what I would say if I were a terrorist!?!?!?!?!)

Thanks for the advice.

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Well as someone who worked with benzene in a laboratory, I can assure you that you don't use a gas mask for it. You use a fume hood unless the exposure is unimportant or very rare. For example opening a bottle and transfering a small quantity using an automated pipette to a test tube once in a while next to a window is something that won't kill you immediatelly or gradually. It is a dangerous chemical, but not a boogeyman. There's way more danger of labs where solvents are kept in an inadequate storage area where they are exposed to heat and are keeping a constant, unhealthy level of vapors in the work area. That's when a gas mask is applicable, although it's of course logical to do something about the source than to spend a fortune on filters during the years.

You seem to have missed the point. You purported gas masks only to be needed in cases of emergency. This clearly is not the case. They are a valuable tool when working in environments with temporarily elevated levels of dangerous substances.

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Well as someone who worked with benzene in a laboratory, I can assure you that you don't use a gas mask for it. You use a fume hood unless the exposure is unimportant or very rare.

Thanks for all the helpful info, that's something more along the lines of what I was looking for. At the time I asked the question I wasn't aware the gas mask was more of a precaution. As for the whole skin contact thing, I'm leaving that for the "higher ups" who know a bit more about what they are doing.

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You seem to have missed the point. You purported gas masks only to be needed in cases of emergency. This clearly is not the case. They are a valuable tool when working in environments with temporarily elevated levels of dangerous substances.

In a lab that should never happen. That is the whole point of a fume hood. If any substance is escaping the fume hood, your fume hood is not adequate for the purpose.

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In a lab that should never happen. That is the whole point of a fume hood. If any substance is escaping the fume hood, your fume hood is not adequate for the purpose.

In an airplane, your engine should never fail. But there are backup procedures in case it happens. Likewise, a fume hood shouldn't fail, but if it does, you should have a back up plan.

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In an airplane, your engine should never fail. But there are backup procedures in case it happens. Likewise, a fume hood shouldn't fail, but if it does, you should have a back up plan.

...? Which is exactly why gas masks are an emergency backup.

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In a lab that should never happen. That is the whole point of a fume hood. If any substance is escaping the fume hood, your fume hood is not adequate for the purpose.

The laboratory is hardly the only environment imaginable. Gas masks are very useful for use in various workshop environments, or places where a fume hood simply is not a viable option (engine rooms, for instance).

...? Which is exactly why gas masks are an emergency backup.

Or the method of choice for everyday production work.

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The laboratory is hardly the only environment imaginable. Gas masks are very useful for use in various workshop environments, or places where a fume hood simply is not a viable option (engine rooms, for instance).

Or the method of choice for everyday production work.

I don't think this question could of possibly been any more obvious about the fact that it was talking about working in a lab. If you're working with benzene in the vacuum of space I'd recommend a spacesuit. Not relevant, but hey.

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I don't think this question could of possibly been any more obvious about the fact that it was talking about working in a lab. If you're working with benzene in the vacuum of space I'd recommend a spacesuit. Not relevant, but hey.

OP never spoke of a lab, so presuming this would be applicable is speculative.

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...I am working with a small group at the University of Iowa...

If you're working in a university lab, then there are plenty of resources at the university to help with this. After all, they have liability in the matter.

Check with the laboratory manager/supervisor/whoever is in charge of the lab you're working with. Or someone in the department. It's somebody's job to make sure the labs are safe. If nowhere else, give these guys a call. They should know better than any of us about the specific environment you're dealing with.

Even if it isn't in a lab or university facility, being associated with the university means the University's skin is in the game. If they're not providing you support or information about safety, make them.

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I guess the US military gas masks can handle all kinds of gases. i bought a gas mask because had to remove the asbestos from my bathroom. The gas mask was pretty good and it saved me a lot of money which would have gone if i hired asbestos removal company. So, I was quite happy. gas masks area saviour !! :lol:

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I concur.  The age of the fume head means nothing.  All that matters is (1) does the fan motor run at full speed (2) is the vent stack unobstructed (3) is the geometry of the fume hood still correct (4) is the casing intact and free of leaks

Next to the door there should be a sticker with the date of last inspection.  If you can't find a sticker or the date isn't recent, call whoever is in charge of lab safety and have them schedule an inspection.  There's a test procedure they follow.

As long as 1-3 are true, it could be the oldest, rustiest, jankiest fume hood you ever saw.  A fume hood isn't some fancy electronic gizmo, it's just an electric fan pulling air through a specific geometric arrangement to guarantee the air flow allows virtually none of the toxic gas into the lab.

And yeah, in organic chemistry lab, you have to do experiments with benzene and 50 other reasonably nasty things.  Not a problem for students with minimal training.  Just don't be messing with dimethyl mercury or a shorter list of things you should really have a space suit on to work with, and you'll be fine.

You know they sell benzene in paint thinners.  You might have had some in your garage going on.  Benze isn't nerve gas, it's just kinda nasty.

Edited by SomeGuy123

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