Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2007 08:20:44 -0400
Reply-To: ILPI <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: ILPI <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Subject: Re: MeOH and organic vapor cartridges
In-Reply-To: <163282172E7D874896E984D5CC2A66B2602647**At_Symbol_Here**>

>I recently learned that organic vapor respirator cartridges do not 
>adequately filter out methanol. Can someone explain why? Are there 
>other common solvents that these cartridges are inadequate for?
>Susan Hadden
>Senior Occupational Safety Specialist
>J&J PRD Environmental, Health & Safety
>1000 Rt 202, PO Box 300
>Raritan, NJ 08869
>908-704-4295 (ph), 908-707-9211 (fax)

As far as the "why" question goes, it is the chemical nature of 
methanol.  Methanol can be thought of as water in which one H has 
been replaced by a methyl group.   Methanol is a very polar, 
hydrogen-bonding solvent that has behavior very untypical of a more 
"common" organic solvent such as benzene.  It does not bond well to 
the materials used in organic cartridges (activated carbon, for 

As far as other solvents go, it is easier to use a cartridge 
selection guide than to make a comprehensive list.  You can download 
one from Bullard here:

Notice that for methanol, it suggests a supplied air respirator (SAR) 
rather than an air-purifying filter/cartridge.  On page 3, there is 
contact information for chemicals that are not listed in their guide.

Standard disclaimer: my company is a Bullard distributor.

Best regards,

Rob Toreki
Safety Emporium - Lab & Safety Supplies featuring brand names
you know and trust.  Visit us at
esales**At_Symbol_Here**  or toll-free: (866) 326-5412
Fax: (859) 523-0606, 4905 Waynes Blvd, Lexington, KY 40513-1469

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.