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Thread: Mystery smell after taking respirator off

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Bratan's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
    New York

    Lightbulb Mystery smell after taking respirator off

    Something that puzzled me for a long time, so I thought I'd ask here
    Has anyone noticed that if you wear your respirator for a while, and as soon as you take it off there's this weird really strong "sweet" smell (similar to mothballs, but hard to describe I never smelled anything like that before)?
    I kind of assumed it was just dust/mold etc. since I usually use it when working in dusty places, but recently I took it off in a clean room in my house and smell hit me as soon as I pulled mask off. Usually I stop sensing it about after a minute or two (my senses get used to it I guess).
    I'm thinking it's either natural smell of my house and I don't normally smell anything because I'm so used to it that brain filters it or being deprived of anything to sense (after all good respirator will probably filter almost all molecules) olfactory sensory get overwhelmed for a shirt period of time and thus I smell something that's not really there...
    I'm going to try taking respirator off outside, that should eliminate house smells in theory Unless it's respirator itself that has this smell (i'm using MSA Safety Works).

  2. #2


    Haven't experienced that personally but sensory adaptation is quite real.

    Try it outside and post up what you find from that.

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