|Guess I'm as prepared for the eventual zombie virus contagion as I will ever be|
After some research I eventually bought a Toyo Safety Gas Respirator/Mask from Japan. What attracted me to this product was its claim to effectively protect against lacquer thinner components such as toluene. While not carcinogenic, toluene is nevertheless hazardous to your health. Prior to taking up biochemistry in my undergraduate studies I had worked as a lab assistant. One day, I had accidentally dropped a 2.5 liter glass bottle of benzene to the floor (toluene is a derivative of the much deadlier benzene). Long story short - I've been careful with organic chemicals ever since.
|Toyo Safety Gas Respirator/Mask|
|Made in Japan as the packaging obviously shows|
|Gas respirator comes in a few separate parts that need to be assembled|
|Instructions are entirely in Japanese thus making it difficult to figure out how to put it all together|
Because the instructions are solely in Japanese I had a hard time figuring out how to assemble the gas respirator/mask. However, using a combination of the Google Translate mobile app as well as diagrams in the instruction, I managed to slowly piece everything together. Parts were assembled in the following order: filter cap, dust filter, absorption cartridge, and last but not least the respirator (with an absorbent strip inside). I'm pretty sure there is a lot of information I'm missing out on as the Japanese instructions are so detailed. But at least the gas respirator/mask works.
|Most visible and prominent part was the antidust filter|
|Here the antidust filter is placed inside the filter cap|
|Absorption cartridge which I assume filters out the toxic vapours|
|Closeup of the absorption cartridge when removed from its packaging|
Initially I was mystified as to the purpose of a black colored round flat disc which was included in the set (see below). It turned out to be a fit checker whose purpose was to test if the gas respirator/mask is sized and donned correctly. Essentially when I wore the respirator/mask with the fit checker on and tried to draw breath, I couldn't. This showed that the respirator/mask was air tight and there were no leaks occurring. While it was a bit disconcerting to not draw breath, this is a necessary safety check.
|A fit checker (round black disc) is provided as a tool to test the fit of the mask|
|Fit checker should fit snugly over the opening before the gas mask/respirator is tested|
A pair of what I assume to be moisture absorbing strips were provided as accessory parts to the gas respirator/mask. I placed one inside the fold on the bottom of the respirator/mask. I believe they are meant to capture moisture from your breath as you are breathing through the respirator/mask.
|Absorbent strips whose objective I presume is to absorb water vapors from your breath|
|Placement of the absorbent strip on the lower innards of the gas respirator/mask|
So this is how it all looked prior to being put together (see below). Not that complicated really with just three main parts to it i.e. the filter cap and accompanying antidust filter; the absorption cartridge and the breathing apparatus itself. I guess the detailed instructions made the whole assembly process look much more complicated than it actually was.
|Toyo Safety Gas Respirator No.1880 with its main parts laid out|
With the exception of the fit checker, I placed all the parts in the order that I mentioned earlier. It was done using the diagram below as a guide. In a moment of sheer stupidity I nearly pulled out both air valves from the gas respirator/mask because I thought the instructions required me to do it. D'oh! Luckily after a few tentative half-hearted pulls at the valves, I decided to leave them alone. A clear plastic drawstring bag is even provided for easy storage of the gas respirator/mask.
|Gas respirator/mask was put together with the help of the diagram above and Google Translate|
|Toyo Safety Gas Respirator No.1880 after being fully assembled|
|A clear plastic carry bag is also provided to store the gas respirator/mask|
Toyo Safety Gas Respirator No.1880 is available from Japan-based online retailers such Hobby Search and HobbyLink Japan. Both are my primary go-to online sources for Japan-made hobby products. I had bought mine from the former as the latter didn't have stock at the time of my purchase. So far it works like a charm whenever I use it. It fits snugly and I can't smell the paint and thinner overspray at all during my practice airbrushing sessions. It takes a bit getting used to but soon you won't even notice you're wearing one. I for one am glad I invested in the respirator/mask. Better safe than sorry ... especially if you frequently work with toxic materials and/or chemicals.