Compressed Air
      Breathing and Eating?



A visitor sent in a question about compressed air breathing and eating... "Can i use a regular compressor to airbrush cakes?"

My response is... In a word, NO!

The air discharge from a typical air compressor will always blow crud and maybe even oil onto your cupcakes.

Though there is an intake filter on the intake port of an air compressor, that filter is not fine enough to keep out all contaminating dust particles etc., that get into the air tank, along with the water that compressing air creates. That and any lubrication that is in or part of the compressing of air with your compressor. When you use that air, lots of that crud blows out of the tank along with your air. Do you really want that landing on your food? I hope not!

Can you treat the air from a compressor so that it can be used for food applications? Yes you can, by including sufficient levels of air filtration for water, particulates and oil.

See the pages on this site about compressed air treatment for more info. So, how many cupcakes are we talking about?

New Question: What size of compressor should be used with an air fed mask?

Response: Obviously a compressor big enough to supply the breathing air requirements of the number of users. The more people breathing the air, the larger the compressor will have to be.

The thing is, a standard air compressor will not do. The air being generated by your typical DIY air compressor will kill you if you breathe enough of it, as in breathing that compressed air through a mask.

Even if you survive, if the authorities find out, you will be facing a fine of some sort, as in many jurisdictions it is illegal to use a general purpose air compressor to provide breathing air.

Air compressors for breathing air are specialty units, and you need to talk to the folks that manufacture and sell them for current information. Just do not use a general purpose air compressor as a source for breathing air. If you do, I suspect your use of it will be short lived, as will you!

New Question: Can a standard air compressor (used for woodshop) also provide breathable air?

I have used air supplied resperators when I was in the Navy in our paint booth and liked them MUCH more than a normal resperator. (easier breathing, keeps you cooler and less clostiphobic)

Is there a filter that I can add to make the air breathable, or do I need a filter? Would I need a special air regulator?

There are compressors on the marker, but they are about 750+ person, and there will be several people in my workshop(home shop).

These are much lower volume and pressure. I know the hoses are unique, and this could be controlled by using different hose fittings.

My Response: The short answer Bruce is no! Definitely not. If you try to do this, and do not take all the steps necessary to rid the compressed air of pollutants, people may get sick, and people may die.

There are OSHA regulations pertaining to the type of air that can be used for breathing, and they do not include compressed air from an industrial air compressor.

You would be wise to find and follow the regulations and guidelines.