So I was grinding some rubber with a high-speed,
air powered, die grinder and it was creating a lot of rubber,
particulate mater (larger than 'dust'). It was kind of like medium-fine,
'wood sawdust' but rubber and didn't really want to be breathing it.
I needed a dust mask
(not for 'bio-hazard' reasons but for blocking larger particles at
work), and realized I had taken all of the dust masks from work. I did
have a new, N95 with the 'Cool Flow' option in my truck, but didn't want
to waste it on this project.
I started searching in one of the warehouses where most of our
'construction safety gear' is kept, and found one of those 'blue' shoe
covers. The ones that you put over your shoes to protect carpets and
floors. They're advertised to be made of standard / medium weight
polypropylene. Now I don't know anything about that, but they're
typically 'blue' and sometimes 'white' with an elastic band around the
top. I quickly figured out that they were more than adequate to block
the 'rubber particles' that I needed to block. It covered the lower half
of my face and the elastic band almost held it in place, but it needed
more. The first thing I thought of was a 'small, bungee' cord (which I
also had around the shop). I found one, stuck the metal hooks in, below
the elastic band, and voilà, I had what I felt was an adequate dust mask
for the job I was doing. I was able to breathe 'un-impeded' through it,
unlike a typical 'dust mask' that seems to make breathing more difficult
and certainly more 'un-comfortable' depending on the effectiveness of
So, if you're doing a construction / shop / yard task that requires a
dust mask, and you can't find any 'normal / proper' dust masks due to
the run on them because of the covid19 virus issue, then utilizing these
shoe / floor protectors could be an alternative 'fix'.
*AGAIN, IN NOW WAY AM I IMPLYING THESE ARE
ANY SORT OF SUBSTITUTE FOR A MASK TO BLOCK ANY SORT OF VIRUS, BACTERIA,
GERM, AMOEBA, OR ANYTHING. THEY ARE NOT PROPER FILTRATION TO PROTECT
LUNGS / RESPIRATORY SYSTEM, NOR WERE THEY DESIGNED FOR ANY OF THOSE
PURPOSES. THEY WILL NOT DO THAT!!!
MEANT TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR N95, SURGICAL OR ANY SORT OF PROPER DUST
I don't know what sort of 'filter rating' or what 'particulate size'
they might block, but it's what I chose in the spur of the moment to
accomplish the task at the time, and would likely choose it again.
. UPDATED 4/4/2020