Wetblasting Does Not Eliminate Inhalation Hazards

By on Oct 11th 2019

Wearing a Compliant Supplied-Air Respirator Is Mandatory


Clemco has seen renewed interest in wetblasting for surface preparation and cleaning. This process, also known as vapor and dustless blasting, suppresses dust in blasting operations by mixing abrasive with a small amount of water. However, Clemco Director of Product Safety Tom Enger reminds employers that “contrary to common misconceptions, dust suppression in wetblasting does not eliminate inhalation hazards.”

In fact, OSHA regulations require that unless employers can prove through testing that their employees’ exposure to inhalation hazards is below permissible exposure limits (PELs), wetblast operators must wear Type 19CE supplied-air respirators (SARs), which are the same type of SARs required for dry blasting. OSHA has recognized Clemco’s Apollo 600 and Apollo 20 SARs as having an assigned protection factor (APF) 1,000 times the PEL, making these SARs excellent choices for wetblast operations. For more information about OSHA regulations on this topic, see OSHA’s standard interpretations for 1910.94(a) and 1926.57(f) .

                                                                       SHOP Clemco Apollo Respirators

Advatages of Wetblasting and Wetblasting Options

“Though when safely practiced,” Enger says, “wetblasting has three key advantages over dry blasting. It increases operator visibility, eases containment, and reduces the ‘zone of influence’ where hazardous dust may circulate.”
Clemco carries four wetblast options, which offer these advantages:

  • Wetblast FLEX™—A complete wetblast system mounted on a portable,
    steel-framed skid
  • Wetblast Injector—Converts a dry blast machine to a wetblast machine
  • Wetblast Attachment—For jobs with lower dust output
  • Power Gun H2O—Handheld suction wetblast tool


Clemco E-Update October 2019

You might also be interested in:

Portable Abrasive Blasting Machines Built for Your Jobs and Applications
by Clemco Industries on Mar 22nd 2023

Ten pots to choose from. One-half to 20 cuft. Mobile and stationary designs. Blast with all common …
Clemco Industries
Newsletter | March 2023
by Sandblasting Machines on Mar 7th 2023

This month we are spotlighting the Clemco Apollo 600 series intermediate lens. This is t
monthly newsletter
Apollo High-Pressure (HP), NIOSH-Approved, Type-CE Supplied-Air Respirator (SAR) Systems and Accessories
by Clemco Industries on Feb 21st 2023

HP Respirator systems for long-duration abrasive blasting or for blasting in extreme temperatures …
Clemco Industries