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Need better respiratory protection when milling grain

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  • Need better respiratory protection when milling grain

    I'm using this respirator from 3M when I mill:

    http://www.staples.com/3M-Half-Facep...03:MMM6311PA1A

    Unfortunately, I'm going home with a lot of wheezing and congestion. I mill about three days a week for about 3 hours at a time.

    Can anyone recommend something that will provide better protection? I replace the filter pads of the respirator I'm currently using regularly.

    Thanks
    Jeffrey Stuffings
    Jester King Craft Brewery
    13005 Fitzhugh Rd.
    Austin, Texas 78736
    (512) 364-7278
    jstuffings@jesterkingbrewery.com
    www.jesterkingbrewery.com

  • #2
    Respirator

    http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/NOR...182?Pid=search

    combined with

    http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/NOR...&cm_vc=IDPBBZ2

    Has always worked well for me (good for DE too)

    If the links don't work, it's a North series 7700 half face respirator with a HEPA cartridge.
    Steve Bradt
    Regional Sales Manager
    Micro-Matic Packaging Division
    Eastern United States and Canada
    sbradt@micro-matic.com
    785-766-1921

    Comment


    • #3
      You should be looking for a p100 cartridge instead of the one you've got. Should make a big difference.

      Particulate, not organic vapours should be your primary concern in a mask for milling.

      You will probably be able to get 3M p100 cartridges for the respirator you already own.

      Pax.

      Liam
      Liam McKenna
      www.yellowbellybrewery.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Facial Hair?

        The key with any respirator, be it a dust mask (yes, OSHA considers that a respirator) or one with cartridges is the fit on the person. If you have a lot of facial hair that prevents the respirator from making a good seal on the face, then you really negate most of the benefits of wearing one. We spent a lot of time and $ doing respirator fit tests on employees when I was with Genesee and in the end it is all about how good of a seal you are getting with the respirator to the face.

        The other way to help is to remove the dust before it gets in the air. We utilized plywood around the mill and a shop vac for a rudimentary dust collection system that removes probably 95% of the dust before we could think about breathing it in.

        Hope this helps.

        Cheers,
        Dave
        David Schlosser
        Brewmaster / Founder
        Naked Dove Brewing Company
        Canandaigua, NY

        Comment


        • #5
          I am an industrial hygienist (OSHA dude) turning brewery owner. This is my first post after lurking for 5 years soaking up all the great info. Now its my turn to try to help out.

          I agree with the previous posts.

          The best way to deal with dust is a local ventilation system to remove the dust before it gets airborne. Engineering controls are always better than personal protective equipment (respirator). If ventilation system is not practical then a P-100 cartridge (purple/magenta) is the appropriate cartridge as mentioned earlier in thread. Fit testing is required to ensure that the respirator size is appropriate. Fit testing is conducted to see if the respirator leaks by using a challenge agent (I use irritant smoke)while using P-100 cartridge.

          Facial hair is not allowed in contact of the seal of the mask by the OSHA respiratory protection standard 29 CFR 1910.134. Facial hair causes leaks where the mask contacts the face. Another option is a Powered Air Purifying Respirator(PAPR) equipped with P-100 canister . Advantage is the air is filtered and then the air is pushed into the mask or shield in a positive pressure by a battery operated fan. Open hooded PAPR can be worn with beard because their is no seal (open hood) and the PAPR works with positive pressure. Air blows outward no dust inward.

          Slainte,

          Tony

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks

            I appreciate the information
            Jeffrey Stuffings
            Jester King Craft Brewery
            13005 Fitzhugh Rd.
            Austin, Texas 78736
            (512) 364-7278
            jstuffings@jesterkingbrewery.com
            www.jesterkingbrewery.com

            Comment


            • #7
              I have always been told an N95 dust mask was sufficent for grain milling. Untrue? Also can anyone tell me what cartridge is appropriate for working with acids commonly found in the brewery and if it is really even necessary? I usually wear one rated for Organic Vapors/ Acid Gases when working with Acid Number 5, 6, Acid Brite, or Paracetic, but my coworkers at every brewery I've been at just look at me like I'm crazy. Its amazing how little info there is on this stuff.

              Comment


              • #8
                Just want to add my $0.02.

                I am VERY sensitive to malt dust. Wheeze for days after breathing dust in. I use a N95 mask and I have no issues.

                I am dumbfounded at the degree of variance from person to person, brewery to brewery. If I am dumping bags into the mill, when we are receiving malt in silo, etc I always wear a mask. Everyone looks at me like I'm crazy. But I need the protection.

                Everyplace I've worked at (now 3 breweries) I've been the only one concerned with wearing protection. I see guys sweeping out out malt trucks, covered in dust from boot to hat, not even minding one bit.

                Last place I worked, the brewer had to shop vac dust out of the mill area, then clean the shop vac filter. I went pale when I saw the night brewer doing it, covered in dust, without a mask. It would have destroyed me. But he smoked 2 packs a day so he a) probably didn't care anyway and b) could handle 2 packs a day so his lungs were probably more tolerant than mine

                Comment


                • #9
                  Allergic to grain Dust!

                  One of our brewers has a allergy to grain dust and malts. He has been provided with a full face mask with allergenic filters. He has not had any problems since this change has been made. We ordered it from Grainger. There are more than a hundred different options for full face. It's best to pick what is right for your application. If your grain room is inclosed, you also need intrinsically safe exhaust fans and lighting. The exhaust fans will help a great deal and it is an OSHA requirement.

                  Skylor Alexander
                  "Everyone has their masters, but very few have a Beer Slave Extraordinaire TM"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Respiratory Protection

                    A N-95 filter means N = Not to be used with oil as oil will break down filter. 95 = 95% of all particles bigger than .3 microns will be removed.
                    A P-100 filter means P = Oil proof and can be used around oil. 100 = 99.97% of all particles bigger than .3 microns will be removed.

                    Many People will do fine with a N-95, but if you are allergic or sensitive to grain dust the P-100 is better than a N-95.

                    hopefully will help someone out there.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You folks are scaring the bejeezus out of me with the mentions of using a shop vac to clean up malt dust! Google "Dust Explosion", please.

                      For dust and malt clean-up, an explosion-proof vac isn't just a good idea, it's the law--with good reason. For dust control, there are numerous explosion-proof dust collection systems on the market (look at the woodworker's suppliers), and most can have a hose hooked up to use as a vac for clean-up. Dust collection systems are generally much cheaper than e-proof vacs.
                      Timm Turrentine

                      Brewerywright,
                      Terminal Gravity Brewing,
                      Enterprise. Oregon.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I agree with the comments on fitment. A properly fitted respirator is the best defense against airborne grain dust.
                        That said, a good properly fitting N95 dust mask with an exhalation valve is also very good. I use an N95 mask with an exhalation valve and I am very sensitive to grain dust.

                        We use malts from specific suppliers for both flavour AND for their techniques in processing of the grains. All of our base malt is cleaned of dust at the maltster before delivery. There is very little dust as a result. However some of our specialty malts are very dusty so we have to use caution when handling them.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Chiming in.....
                          We have a purpose-built, explosion-proof, mill room with an industrial exhaust fan intake over the mill and an appropriately-sized make-up external air vent into the room. It works great! We have NEVER had any issue with grain dust accumulating in the air.
                          Prost!
                          Dave
                          Glacier Brewing Company
                          406-883-2595
                          info@glacierbrewing.com

                          "who said what now?"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Malt dust...

                            I'm a little late to the game here, but another option is simply ordering crushed malt from your supplier. Yes, it costs a little more but is a lot cheaper than maintaining a 1910.134 program (you really don't want to know anything about this regulation; yearly medical evaluations and fit testing, not to mention training). There will still be a little dust, but probably not enough to cause problems. Crushed grain will last for 6-8 weeks unless you store it in a hot humid space.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Stop the dust!

                              After a visit from our friendly Oregon OSHA rep, we've decided that point-of-source dust collection/control is the most economical and safest way to go.

                              The respirator-type masks you all and we have been using require employee training, employee respiratory health evaluation, and professional-level fitment (which can be done in-house, but the test kits cost >$300), and documentation, documentation, documentation. Fitment places serious restrictions on facial hair, which can be a problem, especially with hipster employees (and us old hippies). Paper "dust masks" don't require any of this, but also don't work.

                              I've ordered a wood shop style 1.5 hp. Jet brand dust collection system (~$300). This will be installed in a lean-to outside the mill room, with non-sparking, grounded metal pipe plumbed directly to the malt bin, grist case, and mill. With some simple hoods and adjustable blast gates, I'm pretty sure we can eliminate all or nearly all of the free dust in the mill room, for less than the cost of a single year's use of respirators (due to the costs to conform to OSHA standards). Additionally, this should make for a much cleaner and more pleasant place to work.

                              OSHA has agreed that this would absolve us of any need to use respirators/masks, and eliminate any need for a dust explosion abatement plan.
                              Last edited by TGTimm; 11-07-2014, 12:53 PM.
                              Timm Turrentine

                              Brewerywright,
                              Terminal Gravity Brewing,
                              Enterprise. Oregon.

                              Comment

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