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Old 06-27-07, 05:31 PM   #1
Michigander
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What level of respiratory protection is needed to stop pollen?

Last Michigander my brother and I were riding on a trail and something that had never happened to us happened. We were simultaneously overcome by pollen induced asthma attacks. We made it in that day, but going about 5mph and getting passed by 65 year old fat women. Being as I have a bunch of respirators, we decided this won't be happening again, because we'll carry one for each of us this year. But the problem is, I don't know how good they'll have to be. Do any of you scientist types know what it takes to filter out pollen?

I don't know how big the particles are, so I don't know what type of filtration is needed. I don't trust paper dust masks, but if they could filter the bulk, that seems it would work. Hepa filters on a half face would be the next step up, followed by organics with hepas on top on half faces. I'm sure we won't need PAPR's.

Any ideas?
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Old 06-27-07, 05:39 PM   #2
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I suppose it would depend on what pollen is attacking at that moment and its particle size.
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Old 06-27-07, 05:40 PM   #3
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There's different sizes?

Hmm.

Any idea what's the smallest?
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Old 06-28-07, 06:55 AM   #4
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I seem to recall that EPA has some info on allergies and asthma. You might check their website.

Have you considered being tested to find out what pollen it is you're allergic to? Then get shots, or have a med (like a prescription anti-allergen nasal spray) recommended by your doc for the duration of the ride. In any case, by knowing what it is that's settin' you off, you could look up the particle size somewhere, no doubt.
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Old 06-28-07, 03:12 PM   #5
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Thanks Vega, Checked EPA.gov, not much I could find there.

I could try meds, but it only happened once, and but I always prefer to avoid meds when I can. Plus, I know I can solve the problem if it happens again with respirators. If nothing else, I'll just bring the premo "Sadam grade" filters, to make sure it works.
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Old 06-28-07, 03:15 PM   #6
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Hold your breath, for a really long time. You'll be fine.

When is the Michigander, anyway?
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Old 06-28-07, 03:18 PM   #7
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I just did a google search, which I should have done before. <stupid michigander look>

Apparantly pollen ranges from 10- 1,000 microns, depending on type. Hepa filters go way smaller than that, so they should work, which is good, because organic filters with hepa's on top are friggen heavy.

Edit: Michigander starts the 16th I think.
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Old 06-28-07, 05:57 PM   #8
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Mich, if all else fails there's always this!
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Old 06-28-07, 06:09 PM   #9
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On the very nastiest and most hazardous abatement job I ever worked on, which was coincidentaly removing asbestos filled air vents from my old high school, (funnily enough, my friends and I felt really clever back in the day for figuring out how to pull them apart and make them run), Tyvek suits and PAPR's were good enough. No need for supplied air and a level 3 or 4 suit for pollen. The air tank would be hard to carry on a mountain bike, especially since my backpack will already weigh 20 plus pounds.
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Old 06-28-07, 07:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
Mich, if all else fails there's always this!
Down here that not uncalled for. I swear it looked like we had fallout from a pollen volcano. We were sweeping up piles of it and after it rained we would have pollen slush in the streets and drains.

I think you will be fine and less likely to overheat with a surgical/dust style mask.
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Old 06-29-07, 09:53 AM   #11
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A hospital mask or an N95 respirator would be fine. Pollen is pretty big.
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Old 06-30-07, 08:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllenG
I think you will be fine and less likely to overheat with a surgical/dust style mask.
You should see some of the stuff I've done. 120 degree containment with 100% humidity, working your ass off for 4 or 5 hours without so much as a water break. Now that's overheated.



But the dust mask idea does sound kinda good. I just get paranoid about em. With all the stose work I've done, I'm really picky about my masks. I do a self fit check out of habit each time I put one on. Even if I'm just gonna use it for saw dust or something. N95's are pretty light and portable. I could always bring both.
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