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@Tennessee's Bees LLC

Just so you are aware, there's no need to wear a full respirator when performing OAV.

A simple N95 mask designed for painting is more than enough to stop the powder from entering into the human respiratory tract.
 

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@Tennessee's Bees LLC

Just so you are aware, there's no need to wear a full respirator when performing OAV.

A simple N95 mask designed for painting is more than enough to stop the powder from entering into the human respiratory tract.
According to OSHA, and again on the 3m website, N95 masks are NOT rated for organic acids and as the name suggests - only filter 95% of particles .03 microns and larger.

So to be very clear for those reading this post, you are not protecting yourself from the "powder" but from the vapor which sublimates as an organic acid. This crystalizes when cooled and it's these crystals that WILL damage your lungs. Even if the crystals couldn't get through an N95, the vapor sure can!

As a first responder I spend a lot of time in N95 masks. I highly doubt they would provide much, if any, protection against OAV. I use a 3m respirator rated for organic acid (marked by pink cartridges). This IS rated for OAV and is much harder to breath out of than an N95.

Respirators rated for organic acids are less than $30 on amazon. Don't be stupid.
 

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You're not correct, because the vapor is already condensed by the time it gets out into the air.

Respirators are not necessary, Oxalic acid condensates. It's complicated, we've discussed the chemistry on other threads.

The only time I've ever felt the need to use some sort of serious protection is when in a confined area, but out in the apiary, the risk is essentially zero. It's basically nothing more than an irritable dust.


I chuckle every time I see someone using a respirator. It's cute.🗣
 

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I'll remain "cute" with my organic acid rated respirator. When I switched to OAV I used a decent respirator for fine dust and such from the wood shop. I could smell the OAV which would make me cough up a storm and run from the bee yard.

Even IF an N95 would work for safety but I could smell the OAV, I'd still prefer the organic acid vaporizer. After all, I'm pretty sure we only get one pair of lungs and I'm not about to risk them by being cheap. Same with wearing glasses. My vision is way too important.

However, I am open to learning more about the chemisty. If you have any papers on the subject (and not random dudes on the internet) I'm more than willing to be educated.

I'll even try vaporizing with an N95 and see if it works, but the first sign of smelling that crap and I'm back to being "cute" lol
 

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I'll remain "cute" with my organic acid rated respirator. When I switched to OAV I used a decent respirator for fine dust and such from the wood shop. I could smell the OAV which would make me cough up a storm and run from the bee yard.

Even IF an N95 would work, I'm pretty sure we only get one pair of lungs and I'm not about to risk them by being cheap. Same with wearing glasses. My vision is way too important.

However, I am open to learning more about the chemisty. If you have any papers on the subject (and not random dudes on the internet) I'm more than willing to be educated.

I'll even try vaporizing with an N95 and see if it works, but the first sign of smelling that crap and I'm back to being "cute" lol
MntnMyke, I believe username may have you on a technicality so dont raise the stakes too much before you look up the intricacies of sublimation. OA has the property of being able to transform without going through all the observed phases. Johno has observed that you cannot smell OA if you wear only a particulate mask. Formic acid, a close cousin of OA would be unhindered by such a mask and would definitely require an acid vapors mask.

The mask I have is for both vapors and particulates and I dont think it worth looking for a particulates only since I sometimes use formic. Iodine is another substance the exhibits the phenomenon of sublimation. It is the one I remember from high school chemistry but OA is another.

Just a random dude on the internet
 

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Just a random dude on the internet
Haha, fair enough. Username may be correct regarding OAV. I just highly prefer erring on the side of caution.

Maybe working in the medical field has me more cautious than needed, but nobody is hurting anything by being extra cautious. Plus, maybe some of us like being cute ;)
 

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Haha, fair enough. Username may be correct regarding OAV. I just highly prefer erring on the side of caution.

Maybe working in the medical field has me more cautious than needed, but nobody is hurting anything by being extra cautious. Plus, maybe some of us like being cute ;)
Nothing to lose by being on the cautious side; and a lot of what is spread around the web is indeed worthy of scrutiny. I have worked quite a few years in industrial plants and exposed to some bad stuff. Some exposures seem easy to laugh off but their damage is incremental an irreversible.

I have done a fair bit of OA from tray type applicators without masks but having a good fitting mask allows you to concentrate on what you are doing instead of observing the wind and dodging the plume. (dust not vapor) but only a subtle difference.
 

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I too noticed a huge difference in how I treated once I got my organic acid mask. You just don't have to think, nor worry about it. Gives me time to scrape my mite boards and tidy around while my vaporizer is running.

Also a thanks to Johno, it used to take me hours to treat with my OAV wand. I got it down to about 30 minutes with his vaporizer, about a minute per hive with loading, treating, unloading and prepping the next hive. LOVE IT!
 

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I have some more charging caps on their way from Biermann so I can charge up a cap for each colony and set it on top. When the vap is heated up I can go down the line very quickly. I have done up to 13 colonies with the tray type and that gets old quick if you have to do multiple treatments to get the mite count down.
 

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I too noticed a huge difference in how I treated once I got my organic acid mask. You just don't have to think, nor worry about it. Gives me time to scrape my mite boards and tidy around while my vaporizer is running.

Also a thanks to Johno, it used to take me hours to treat with my OAV wand. I got it down to about 30 minutes with his vaporizer, about a minute per hive with loading, treating, unloading and prepping the next hive. LOVE IT!
If an N95 mask did not do the trick I would be long dead or whatever the effects of OA vaporization would cause. While doing the research to build vaporizers I soon came to the conclusion that OA vapor as a gas did not exit the outlet tube but only water vapor and OA crystals. At that time there was also the theory that when the OA was heated it broke down into a lot of Formic acid and co2, so to check that lot out I stuck my head directly into the plume of OA crystal vapor and tried to get a whiff of formic acid and did not sense any at all as well as no smell of oxalic acid. I came to that conclusion in the winter mornings when the cloud of OA drifted up into the sky and into the morning sun and you could watch the sunlight reflecting off of those tiny crystals and watch them twinkle.
 

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Believe it or not, there's quite a few experienced beekeepers who seem to be under the false impression that OAV is a deadly vapor that requires a special respirator.
 

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Believe it or not, there's quite a few experienced beekeepers who seem to be under the false impression that OAV is a deadly vapor that requires a special respirator.
Well, experienced or not if they find themselves in a cloud of OA without some filtration they quickly wish to be some place else.

Many of what are sold as dust masks do not fit well enough for OA dust. Those sold that are certified to meet the standards for acid vapors and dusts, must of necessity form fit well.
 

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Hence why I suggested an N95 mask. They have a metal strap over the nose, and configures to ones face.
 

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that's a low quality response. Please stay on topic.
 
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