The risk depends on the blasting media and what you are blasting.
There have already been good postings on the risks from the paint
flecks you will create. I would like to mention the risks that depend
on which medium you use. The cheapest and quite effective medium is
silica sand. Cost is a couple of dollars per hundred pounds. The
only problem is silicosis from the dust created when the sand is
pulverized in the blasting process. Silicosis develops from
cumulative exposure. A little bit here and a little bit there can add
up to too much, and it doesn't go away. I use a full head mask and
fresh air supply when blasting. My air supply is my hvlp turbine, but
it isn't OSHA approved for this purpose. It looks pretty much like
the same turbine to me, though and I use it. YMMV. Full head hoods
set up for fresh air supply range in price upwards from about $100.
Your lungs are worth it.
An alternative is a non-silica medium. Slag and "black beauty?" are a
couple of names. Cost is maybe 10 to 15 times the cost of silica
sand, but for a few short jobs the net cost is cheaper cuz you don't
have to buy the air supply and hood.
The dust still isn't good for your lungs but won't strangle you as
Keeping your head upwind from the dust helps, too.
On Mon, 11 Sep 2000 13:56:44 -0700, you wrote:
:: I recently had to do a small amount of sandblasting (a couple of A-arms)
:: to remove some rust. Since I don't have a blasting cabinet I used a back
:: corner of my back yard that's just bare dirt, so the sand mixes in nicely,
:: makes a lot of dust while blasting.
:: Since I didn't want to breathe the dust, I decided to get a respirator
:: The problem is, they all said "Not for Abrasive Blasting" on the packages.
:: What are you supposed to use?
:: I went ahead and got a decent mask, since I figured it was a lot better
:: than nothing...
:: Tim Mullen