Confusing: Paint Mask Should Not Be Used With Paint?

Reader Mike is confused by this 3M Latex Paint and Odor Respirator with Valve. The front of the package lists “disposable aerosol spray paint cans” as something the mask “helps provide relief” from. However, the instructions seem to say that you shouldn’t use it with paint spray. What should he do?

I was at my local hardware store to pick up some disposable, quick-use masks for spraying some nitrocellulose lacquer. I go to the right aisle and pick out a decently priced pair of 3M Latex Paint and Odor Respirator with Valve masks.

After going down the list of things this mask protected the user from, I quickly found “disposable aerosol spray paint cans” on the list and was satisfied. I bought the item and was about to use it, but had an inclination to read the instructions before going out to spray.

I read through the instructions and I was cautioned NOT to use this mask with “paint spray.”

Should I use the masks or not?

Well, kudos on reading the instructions! The instructions are written in a confusing way, but we understand them to mean that you shouldn’t use it with paint spray, “when particulate concentrations exceed 10 times the PEL/OEL, specific OSHA standards, or applicable government regulations, whichever is lower.” If you’re not sure that the substance you’re spaying qualifies, you should check with an expert.

Do we have any experts in the comments?