This topic has 6 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 4 months ago by EvanWRapp.

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  • #14940
      • Experience: 15-20 years
      • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

      We are researching new half mask respirators for a number of people in our company. I want to buy a few kinds/sizes to allow those staff members to try on. What are your favs and why?

      This is just a first step.

      ***We will be following all the recommended steps after we let staff pick the ones they feel fit the best out of the 2 or 3 most recommended. Medical evals, fit test, etc.



       Angelique Powers
        • Experience: 20+ years
        • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

        Member Member

        My favorite fit is actually the classic 3m version. I find it softer and more fitting.

        Bonus is being able to find the filters at almost all big box hardware stores so when I need to refill for my freelance work at smaller theaters it’s easier to find.

        One day I will work for a company that actually follows the rules and has me medically evaluated and properly fit tested.

         Mary Novodvorsky
          • Experience: 20+ years
          • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

          Member Member

          Our Production Manager fits our respirators (because she is the one who has been trained), and most of my crew fits North respirators (they come in two or three different sizes). But I’ve had one painter who fit the 3M version better. How you fit depends on the shape and size of your face. She looks at us and chooses a brand dependent on how big we are and whether we have a broad or skinny head size.

           Rachael Claxton
            • Experience: 5-10 years
            • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

            I like the 3M respirators the best, specifically the ones with the “cool flow” facepiece. I find I can wear them for longer before they get too uncomfortable. Like Angelique, I like that I can pick up the basic cartridges at the hardware store and can easily find the more specialized ones online. Our props shop use the MSA respirators and finds that the rubber the facemask is made out of causes them to sweat much quicker in our awful Kentucky summers.

             Carole Payette
              • Experience: 20+ years
              • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

              I just ordered a handful of a style I like a lot. Honeywell ( was Spearian and before that Survivair) RU8500 series- they are silicone, very light weight, with a speaking diaphragm. They come in Small Medium and Large and so far I have been able to fit everyone.


              I have been using a Sundstrom mask for a while now and have been happy with it. They have different cartridges for different applications and you can stack them (add a particulate cartridge to a toxic fumes cartridge if needed). They are lightweight and comfortable — the 3M masks tend to clog quickly and make it harder to draw a breath whereas the Sundstrom is very breathable.

                • Experience: 5-10 years
                • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

                I’m with the 3M crowd.

                They are rated for safety with pretty much anything that can legally be thrown around a scenic shop.

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