Author Topic: What type of mask do I need when working with diatomaceous earth?  (Read 936 times)

Offline brewmonk

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We will be using a DE filter in our brewery, and I am trying to get safety things together.  I have read that you should use a mask when working with diatomaceous earth.  Is there a certain type of mask, and do I need anything else like safety glasses or goggles?
Br. Francis
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Offline gmac

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Re: What type of mask do I need when working with diatomaceous earth?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2012, 07:03:35 AM »
All I can suggest is find out if your product has a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and follow the directions given on the sheet.  I checked a couple on line and they all say avoid inhalation but give no specifics so I would suggest a regular dust mask would be sufficient.  But, find out what your brand is, check for an MSDS and see what is recommended.

Offline brewmonk

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Re: What type of mask do I need when working with diatomaceous earth?
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2012, 11:38:08 PM »
Thanks.  I usually see that a "dust mask" is needed, but I wasn't sure what grade.  I'll see what the safety sheet says (I hope they have those in Italy ;)
Br. Francis
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Offline punatic

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Re: What type of mask do I need when working with diatomaceous earth?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2012, 02:57:06 AM »
The MSDS I read for DE says that long term heavy exposure to DE may cause irritation of the mucous membranes (read: it will cause diatomaceous boogers).  It rates three zeros on the NFPA safety diamond.  I've been using DE as swimming pool filter media for decades.  A plain ole paper particle mask works fine.
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Offline gmac

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Re: What type of mask do I need when working with diatomaceous earth?
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2012, 05:46:13 AM »
Yeah, I think Dust Mask means the regular paper fiber mask you'd use for sanding drywall etc.  Nothing fancy required, just don't breath in a lot of it for a long time. Doesn't look like any long term danger and acute is pretty mild, more of an irritation so a paper filter should be more than adequate (and easy to get).

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Re: What type of mask do I need when working with diatomaceous earth?
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2012, 07:19:52 AM »
DE, or perlite? I don't think anyone in the States uses DE any more, but things might be different over there.
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Offline brewmonk

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Re: What type of mask do I need when working with diatomaceous earth?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2012, 10:10:11 AM »
It's still DE over here.
Br. Francis
Birra Nursia