As you all know, we had a volunteer quarterly safety meeting on Saturday, 4/20/13 with our painters and tapers and the main topic of the meeting was respiratory protection. During the meeting we were discussing respirator cartridge filters, the types to use and when to use them, etc. One of our very fine painters,Vito Rizzi asked the following question: "What type of cartridge filter should be used for applying lacquer type paints." We encourage these types of questions as we can all learn from them. So first of all, thank you, Vito, for asking the question. According to the material safety data sheets and according to 3M, which is our respirator cartridge filter provider, the correct cartridge filter to use for lacquer paints is the organic vapor cartridges. These are the black labeled cartridges that we are already using for our common paint spray applications. These black labeled organic vapor cartridges are the correct respirator filters to use for most paint applications. They are used for latex, lacquers, enamels, most epoxy's, solvents and many other varieties of paints. Applications that would typically require a different type of cartridge filter other than the black labeled organic vapor cartridge are ammonia, acids, chlorine, etc. The material safety data sheets will typically tell you the type of cartridge filter to use. The MSDS will typically say to use an organic vapor cartridge which is the black labeled one. If you are reviewing an MSDS sheet and it says to use a cartridge other than an organic vapor cartridge, then I would advise you to contact our Safety Director, Peter Graham. I (Peter) am always reviewing the MSDS sheets when we are using a new product that we are not familiar with. If we provide a paint product that calls for a different type of respirator cartridge filter, we would notify our paint crew that will be using the product and provide them with the correct cartridge filter.
I hope this answers the question. As always, please contact our Safety Director, Peter Graham with any safety related questions.