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By VFT_Enterprise
Posts:  45
Joined:  Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:29 pm
#255157
Does anyone have a recommendation for protection while working with perlite? I've been doing some transplanting/re-potting this week (both for my carnies and otherwise; those 2 cubic feet of perlite need to go to use sometime), and my nose and throat are paying the price.

I used a typical disposable dust mask (which is supposed to be good for sandblasting and working with fiberglass) any time I dug into the perlite bag, and at least until the stuff was wet in the soil mixture.

I was thinking of buying one of those heavy-duty masks that only need the filter changed out occasionally, but I don't know if that might be overkill. Thoughts?
By midwestprospector
Posts:  65
Joined:  Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:43 am
#255161
I use a neoprene dust mask with an activated charcoal filter. I have problems with lung irritation from perlite dust and dry peat moss dust as well, whenever I'm mixing in my greenhouse. So now, when I need to mix a batch of CP soil, I put the mask on and it seems to be 100% effective for me. Here is a link to the one I use: http://www.harborfreight.com/multipurpo ... 94222.html The mask is very comfortable, I actually forget I have it on after a while and the filter should last forever if you are only using it when mixing potting soil.
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By Jaws
Posts:  1296
Joined:  Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:11 pm
#255189
Leathal_Traps wrote:Wet the perlite by misting it before use and hold your breath while doing so.
This.

And this.
nimbulan wrote:I just do it outside, and wet the perlite immediately after pouring it out of the bag. If there's any wind, it'll take care of the dust.
By bvalente
Posts:  892
Joined:  Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:58 pm
#255201
Water is going to help you the most like they said. I don't use peat/perlite anymore but even with LFSM, when its first out of the bag it gets airborne. A mask will help, I personally just pull my tshirt above my nose since it's only a few seconds to a minute before its adequately wet enough to stay in place.


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By VFT_Enterprise
Posts:  45
Joined:  Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:29 pm
#255227
Jaws wrote:
Leathal_Traps wrote:Wet the perlite by misting it before use and hold your breath while doing so.
This.

And this.
nimbulan wrote:I just do it outside, and wet the perlite immediately after pouring it out of the bag. If there's any wind, it'll take care of the dust.
I did all that, and it still got me :lol: I didn't take the LF and peat moss into account, though, so maybe that was it. I knew perlite has a reputation for messing you up, but I worked with the LF and peat for a while before ever putting a mask on. Live and learn :roll:

Thanks, everyone!
By katya_dog1
Posts:  2412
Joined:  Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:45 pm
#255262
Silica dust is very bad to breathe in, and causes Silicosis, a nasty disease that I would definitely recommend avoiding.

You can buy a respirator with replaceable filters if you use perlite often, but generally just thoroughly spraying it down from a reasonable distance outdoors will work. I still only do it on a breezy day, and I wear a disposable dust mask while doing so.
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