Anatomy of a Soda Blast Professional
Even the smallest soda-blasting job can be hazardous to your health. It is for this reason that all of our blasting specialists at Crystal Soda Blast take great precaution in wearing the proper safety equipment while working.
Homeowners looking to get some blasting projects finished and professionals alike must invest in the right equipment for the job. A lack of proper safety equipment can result in health issues including hearing damage, skin burns or eye damage from flying debris and getting small particles sucked in to the lungs.
Protect your hearing from noisy machinery with earplugs. For prolonged exposure to noises of 80 dB or higher, earplugs are required. Soda blasting is in the range of 115 dB.
|Level of noise in dB||Maximum daily exposure time|
FULL-BODY TYVEK SUIT:
The suit protects you from flying debris and helps eliminate the risk of skin burns. Once your body starts to sweat, it will mix with the soda on your skin causing your skin to possibly feel a burning sensation because of the high acidity.
The good thing is that some of the beauty industry says baking soda is good for the skin because of the pH changing abilities. The bad thing is that we are exposed to a lot of baking soda, which would be bad if our staff didn’t shower after work. The plastic coated suit helps keep the soda off our skin as much as possible.
LEATHER STEEL-TOED BOOTS:
Our crews wear high top leather steel toed boots to prevent injury from dropping 50lb bags of soda or the blasting gun on our toes. In a homeowner setting, it might not be as critical but our crews are REQUIRED to wear them on all job sites. There are ANSI ratings on the tongue of the boot. Here’s a link to more than you would ever want to know about ANSI ratings for boots. http://www.grainger.com/content/qt-protective-footwear-standards-252.
Our crews are REQUIRED to wear a full-face mask while blasting. If they are removing a hazardous material from the substrate (such as paint with lead or PCB’s) then they are required to wear an air-supplied helmet. We use P100 filters on the full-face mask and replace them whenever it becomes harder to breath.
We also do a fit test and periodic seal checks to see which size mask to wear and when valves and filters need to be replaced. The wearer also needs to be clean-shaven—no facial hair in the way of the seal.
Just like we protect our body with a full-body suit we want our hands to be covered too. Plastic-palm, coated gloves or leather gloves like these will keep your hands from getting marked up by the bits of flying particles in the air.
We hope this article has been helpful as you plan your own soda-blasting project. Depending on the size of the project the equipment list maybe adjusted however, for any job we highly advise wearing a full-face mask while blasting at the minimum.
Lastly, if you do come across hazardous substances do not hesitate to call in an expert to remove all of the dangerous particles from your home.
Remember your number one priority should always be SAFETY FIRST!
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