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Old March 11, 2018   #1
greenthumbomaha
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Default Hypoallergenic Particle Masks for Potting Mix Use

It's time for a new mask. I should be potting up tonight but I'm going to wait and be safe.

There have been several discussions on the importance of using a mask when working with dry potting mixes. I've been using very cheap dust masks when doing indoor potting but not really consistently over the years. I have a decent but inexpensive particle respirator from a small construction project, but its kind of smelly and it gets hot quickly.

I seem to be allergic to something in my latest cheap dust mask 2 pack. Twice I got itchy and small welts on the sides of my lower face.

What is the appropriate level of protection for us, and is there something to steer clear of that may irritate some of us?

- Lisa
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Old March 11, 2018   #2
Cole_Robbie
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I just wet the mix.

I think the article below might be relevant. It is about dentists, but also likely has to to with inhaling particulate matter for many years.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...igure-out-why/

Dentists keep dying of this lung disease. The CDC can’t figure out why.
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Old March 12, 2018   #3
greenthumbomaha
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I saw that dental alert in another post. Its not surprising with all the contaminants in the air.

The concern in potting soil is not just particulate matter, but molds and fungus being inhaled. I do wet the soil when I plan ahead and have a single use size bag but wetting a big 2cu ft compressed bag in my indoor area is another story. I'm careful to let it anything in the air settle before I take a big breath or I flip the mask off.

I'm looking for a mask recommendation for potting soil that is non-allergenic. When I have just a few items to repot and wetting a large bag isn't timely, but I do try when I can. Its usually too cold to work in the garage at this time of year.

- Lisa
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Old March 12, 2018   #4
Cole_Robbie
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The bales of pro mix that I buy at Menard's fit into a mortar mixing bin. I dump the bale into the bin, then cut away the top of the plastic and the corners. Then I give it 3-4 gallons of water. I've been doing my transplanting indoors for the past few years, and working with wet mix has helped a lot.

I don't know if it is hypoallergenic, but the construction standard for working with insulation is a cartridge-type respirator. The cartridges screw in, and are replaceable. They are somewhat pricey, but should last a while.
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Old March 12, 2018   #5
dustdevil
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Like Cole Robbie said. Get a respirator with replaceable filters. Go to a home improvement center and tell a clerk with a brain that you need a respirator for sanding drywall. All of the rubberish respirators are hot and sweaty...but that's a small price to pay where your respiratory system is at stake. A light breeze blowing the particulate away from your work is helpful. Calm days have the micro cloud rising up in your face.

Last edited by dustdevil; March 12, 2018 at 01:08 PM.
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