It’s a HAZMAT World

It's a HAZMAT World
by James Gilbert Pynn

Whatever the case, nothing offers more protection than full-face respirators. Judging by your stunned look, I imagine that’s an odd leading sentence, but so be it. Whether it’s Uncle Mort after holiday dinner or a chemical or biological outbreak (which, I contend, Uncle Mort would still qualify as), a full-face respirator could be the difference between staying healthy and getting extremely sick or nauseous.

Does your art teacher hardly hear a word you’re saying? Is he or she drifting off the subject and walking in circles? It may be the years of breathing in turpentine. Yes, that’s right: exposure to art materials (like turpentine) leads to serious health affects, like tinnitus. You know, the condition made popular by Pete Townsend (poor sap). It’s that persistent ringing in the ears. Van Gogh suffered from it. Maybe thats what prompted the whole ear-cutting thing. Or it could’ve been a girl thing.

If you or a loved one should run the risk of breathing in hazardous fumes, it’s time for a respirator. Risk of hazardous fumes, aren’t we all at risk? Especially those of us who have the misfortune of living in Los Angeles? Indeed. I say wear one everywhere. Set the new LA trend and cover your face with a full-face respirator. It makes an ideal red carpet accessory.

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When it comes to types of respirators, there are usually two to choose from: supplied air and powered air. Supplied air respirators use filters that cleanse the air as you breathe in. Think of it as a Brita water filter for your lungs. These can be full-faced or partial units. They are quite effective, but not as impressive or cumbersome as the powered air respirators. These bad boys use motorized pumps to draw the air in, filter it, and then make it available or breathing. Think scuba divers, firemen, and high-altitude, low insertion paratroopers. Dude, those guys are bad.

Avoid potentially hazardous situations by strapping one of these bad mommas to your face. Your whole face! Often particles of hazardous materials or pathogens can easily enter your blood stream through your eyes or ears or pores or whatever. For that matter, you’d be better ff wearing a HAZMAT suit at all times — even in the shower. I kid, but the realities of potential hazards go far beyond Bo and Luke Duke. That was reaching, I know, but do yourself a favor and at least have a few full-face respirators on hand for whatever.

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