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Save Your Breath

CHERYL TEVIS 02/12/2013 @ 11:32am Cheryl has been an editor at Successful Farming since 1979.

Lowell Forristall is no stranger to the uncomfortable, and potentially chronic repercussions of agricultural airway hazards. After an incident or two, the Carson, Iowa, farmer began wearing a respirator.

“I was sick for three days after cleaning a soybean bin,” he says. “I also have some lung scarring from handling corn.”

A growing number of farmers today wear personal protective equipment. However, Carolyn Sheridan, AgriSafe Network clinical director and Spencer (Iowa) Hospital AgriSafe director, still fields a lot of questions about how to care, store, and replace respirators and masks.

The two types of two-strap particulate respirators/masks (Figures 1 and 2) are disposable. Figure 2 has an exhalation valve, designed to help reduce moisture buildup, an issue if you wear glasses.

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