Photos by Rob Brown
I’ve been an ardent dust respirator user ever since I realized how hazardous wood dust can be. I’ve heard the complaints, mainly that they’re uncomfortable and hot, but to me the upside is far greater than any downside. Sure, it would be more comfortable to not wear one, but I can honestly say I got used to a respirator fairly quickly, and have never looked back. And considering the protection they provide for my lungs, I think it’s a no-brainer.
The Trend Air Stealth half mask respirator has been comfortable for me to wear for extended periods of time. The straps which hold it in place (one over the upper back portion of my head, and one with clasps that fits around the back of my neck) are fully adjustable, so you can get just the right amount of pressure.
Like any mask, it ever so slightly obscures a small amount of sight at the very bottom of my field of view. The only time I find this annoying is when I’m having trouble putting my pencil back into the dedicated upper pocket of my shop apron, and have to take a closer look.
The N100 filters remove virtually all (99.97% filter efficiency to 0.3 microns) of the wood dust before it reaches your lungs. The filters can easily be replaced, ensuring long-term protection. I also never experienced a lack of oxygen while using the respirator, even when working at high intensities.
Wearing a respirator does take a bit of time to get used to, but if you decide you want to protect your lungs with a respirator, I think Trend’s Air Stealth is a great option. After all, your lungs are for life, and you don’t want wood dust harming them.