I am looking for a respirator and respirator cartridges to protect me while I apply a bleach solution to my entire attic to kill mold. What would be the correct combination of mask and filters for that application?
This poses an interesting question. In looking at a mask and filters, we need to find a combination that protects you both from the bleach vapors, and also from the spores of the growing mold. First let’s look at respirator masks.
When using chlorine bleach, we want to use a full face respirator (vs. half mask) since bleach can affect all mucous membranes. This means that bleach will affect the eyes and nose, especially in close quarters with poor ventilation, like in an attic. For the full face mask, I recommend the 6800 Full Facepiece Respirator Mask by 3M. It is comfortable, seals well, and offers great protection for the price point.
If you were simply being exposed to mold spores, I would still recommend 6800 Full Facepiece Mask because the eyes present a pathway for mold spores to enter your body. Depending on the type of mold, and your sensitivity, this can be quite a problem. With exposure to either bleach or mold, you need to protect your mouth/lungs, nose and eyes.
For the filter cartridge, you will need a combination of a multi-gas cartridge and a P100 (HEPA) filter to protect you from the bleach vapors and mold spores respectively. The filter cartridge that does this the best is the 3M 60926 Multi-Gas/P100 Cartridge.
Once you have the mask/filter combination on, you should not be able to smell or taste the bleach. When you start to, it is time to change the cartridges. There is no set time, and this is the only indication that the life of the cartridge has been expended. They are then disposed of.
Mold spores and bleach vapors are not something you want to be exposed to, especially in poorly ventilated areas. Making sure that you have the right respirator mask and filter is essential for keeping yourself safe. If you have any questions about which mask and filters to use in your application, please feel free to contact us and ask.