Breathing hay particles -- how to fix? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 5 Old 07-26-2013, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Breathing hay particles -- how to fix?

I have recently taken on the role of barn manager at a boarding facility, which means I handle a lot of hay very regularly. The hay is good quality and isn't overly dusty, but it does still give off enough dust and fine particles to irritate my throat/lungs when I'm throwing it around, sweeping up the chaff, etc. Do any of you use some type of breathing protection if you anticipate handling a lot of hay? I tried a basic breathing mask which helps, but I really really hate the way it makes the moisture from my breath condense on my face. Do the "fancier" respirators mitigate this? Or is it just something you sort of have to deal with?
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-26-2013, 06:34 PM
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When im stacking hay in a barn or storage area its mostly too hot for me to use a breahing thing- I just cover my face with shirt when it gets to feeling like theres hay in my throat and breath through my shirt for a while and step outside the building then I get back to it.
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-26-2013, 07:52 PM
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I guess I'm just a cheapie LOL. Whenever I am going to be doing something that requires some breathing protection from dust particles, I just take a damp bandana and tie it around my face.
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-26-2013, 07:54 PM
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That's why the hay fork was invented. Less hay movement when a fork is pushed into it than when gathered up. Plus it keeps it 4' away. Get a pump up garden sprayer and spritz the area you have to sweep.
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post #5 of 5 Old 07-26-2013, 08:51 PM
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I'm allergic to hay and hay dust, but have my own farm and mess with hay everyday. I can pick up a flake or two and be fine, but if I'm kicking up any type of particles or dust, or putting it up, or stacking it I have to use something.
I've tried the masks and really dislike them, but found a light but quality made bandana much more comfortable. I have to cover my face whenever I mow grass too, so generally am in a bandana 4 or 5 days a week and have found out there is a difference in cloth quality with them.

Anyway, I tie it up snug over my nose then tuck the neck end inside my shirt.
Also, this may help (sorry, it's gross) but as soon as possible after you are done working around the hay/hay dust, even with a mask or bandana on,
Go blow your nose! Blow it alot.... and if it's really been dusty try swabbing out your nose with a damp tissue.

By doing the above, and taking a Claratin (over the counter non-drowsy allergy medicine) each day, I have reduced my sinus infections to zero!
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