Saturday, June 08, 2013

Protect yourself - Use an air respirator when airbrushing or doing oil washes!

I have recently been getting some headaches after using different solvent with oil washes. The stuff used for cleaning the airbrush is also bad news for your health - so we should all take care :-)

I watched Hugo from Ichiban Studio talk about an Air Respirator from 3M

I found a great kit on ebay containing
  • 3M 7502 (Medium Size) Half Mask
  • 3M 6001CN - Organic Vapour filters
  • 3M 5925 - Particulate Pre-Filters
  • 3M 501 Pre-filter Retainers
Wow four items! Are you confused?
Well the filters are replaceable and needs to be changed in the future.
The half mask is top of the line from 3M - they also have a cheaper one called the 6000 series. The price difference was about 10USD so I opted for the 7500 series.
The retainers are used to mount the Pre-filters on the outside of the larger filters. The pre-filters are mostly for dust.
The mask came in a bag that should be used for storage. The filters will begin to deteriorate when you unpack them, so it is best to keep them in the airtight bag when not in use.


This is how it all looks put together:

Does it work?

Short answer: yes!
Well air is a funny thing since you cannot measure the quality by the smell only. But I have not had a headache when doing oil washes since! So I guess that is better than nothing right?
Even pure Turpentine becomes odorless with the mask on - incredible.

I have no doubt that this thing will be part of my routine. Nevertheless, I will still think about the solvents and cleaners I use. You should still think about your environment and remember that your family and pets you live with are unprotected. Ensure proper ventilation to get fresh air into the room as well.
As far as I can read, there are other types of filters especially for ammonia. So since I presume this filter does not work with ammonia, cleaning the airbrush with Windex should probably be avoided.

Used with thought, you will have several benefits with an air respirator. The ultimate companion would be an extraction spray booth :-)


  1. I had lung pain this weekend after spraying models outside. I remembered coming across your article a few days before and ended up ordering the stuff you recommend.
    I could not find the 6001CN filter but went for a multiple purpose one from 3M instead (6059 ABEK1 ).
    Got the stuff yesterday. The mask is unbelievably comfy. I'll try it next weekend.
    It's not always easy to know what to get so thank you for the advice.

    1. I'm glad I could help you :-)
      I do not really know the difference between the many filters, but what I could find on Google about you filter seems fine.
      Yeah it is really comfortable - I even used mine outdoor when I painted the garage with some smelly paint. I has many uses, maybe I should try it when changing diaper ;-)