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.
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.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
Haha, fair enough. Username may be correct regarding OAV. I just highly prefer erring on the side of caution.Just a random dude on the internet
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.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
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.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!
Well, experienced or not if they find themselves in a cloud of OA without some filtration they quickly wish to be some place else.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.