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Wearing a Particulate Respirator in the Gym?
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lilbeach


Nov 18, 2012, 6:08 PM
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Wearing a Particulate Respirator in the Gym?
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I have asthma, probably medium-level severity, but when I climb in the gym (during the winter to stay fit for summer) I find for the next 48 hours I am coughing, have increased trouble breathing, and my sinuses get stuffed. It's much worse after busy nights when the chalk is much more concentrated in the air.

For the past week I've been wearing an N95 particulate respirator when I go to the gym and my breathing has improved noticeably.

this is the one I'm using: http://www.homedepot.ca/product/workhorse-n95-exhalation-valve-1-pack/995602

Has anyone else tried this?

I find that I certainly get a lot of strange looks, but what really bothers me is that when I'm climbing hard it gets uncomfortably moist inside the mask. Perhaps this is something I'll just get used to, but I'm wondering if anyone else has found something that works.

Thanks!


kikitastrophe


Nov 19, 2012, 6:38 AM
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Re: [lilbeach] Wearing a Particulate Respirator in the Gym? [In reply to]
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Are you sure you need to use an N95? Do you get the same benefits from a surgical/procedure mask? That would allow a little easier air flow.

Also, is there anything about the gym that makes it more irritating? The gym I used to go to had rubber bits on the floor and a visible cloud of particulate matter in the air, and to bore you with the gory details: my post-climbing boogers were always black! The gym I'm currently at has soft floors (no rubber, vacuum-able) and high ceilings so the air looks clearer and my boogers are fairly normal after climbing. (Haha, you know all about my boogers now.) So if you have the option, you might consider switching gyms?


marc801


Nov 19, 2012, 1:57 PM
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Re: [lilbeach] Wearing a Particulate Respirator in the Gym? [In reply to]
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lilbeach wrote:
I have asthma, probably medium-level severity, but when I climb in the gym (during the winter to stay fit for summer) I find for the next 48 hours I am coughing, have increased trouble breathing, and my sinuses get stuffed. It's much worse after busy nights when the chalk is much more concentrated in the air.

For the past week I've been wearing an N95 particulate respirator when I go to the gym and my breathing has improved noticeably.

this is the one I'm using: http://www.homedepot.ca/product/workhorse-n95-exhalation-valve-1-pack/995602

Has anyone else tried this?

I find that I certainly get a lot of strange looks, but what really bothers me is that when I'm climbing hard it gets uncomfortably moist inside the mask. Perhaps this is something I'll just get used to, but I'm wondering if anyone else has found something that works.

Thanks!
it sounds like you need to find a different gym - one with better air filtration and dust management.


lilbeach


Nov 19, 2012, 11:09 PM
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Re: Wearing a Particulate Respirator in the Gym? [In reply to]
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Thanks for your posts.

I will try a lighter dust mask, I had gone with the N95 because any dust masks I found not meeting NIOSH standards did not advertise their effectiveness in terms of particle size:

My minimal online research has shown that chalk dust particles in a busy climbing gym can range from 1 micron and up. This team (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22767051) measured up to 500 ug/m3 of PM1(1 to 2.5 micron) and up to 4000 ug/m3 of PM10 (2.5 to 10 microns). Not sure how many gyms they measured to get those values, but I think the gym in my city is on the bad side of things. Crazy

For comparison purposes, US Federal standards for PM10 is 150 ug/m3 averaged over a 24-hour period. The primary standards for PM2.5 are 35 ug/m3 averaged over a 24-hour period.
(http://www.sbcapcd.org/sbc/aaqs.pdf)
Ratings higher than this are noted to cause adverse affects for individuals with asthma or bronchitis (and my assumption is that for healthy folks, 3 hours every other day isn't going to cause damage).

The search continues, I might start making some calls to local safety supply stores to see what they can suggest...

Not willing to give up winter gym climbing yet Smile


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