anest iwata icon pump series
February 22, 2024

Anest Iwata's iCon Pump Series: A Comprehensive Guide to Efficiency and Precision in Fluid Handling

What aspects of fluid handling equipment are the most important? Efficiency, precision, reliability, and more are needed to complete your job in the best way possible. Anest Iwata's iCon Pump series delivers consistent and precise results so you never have to worry about wrangling your gear to get the job done.

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sagola 5000x air purification system
January 18, 2024

Discover the Power of Sagola’s 5000X Air Purifying Filtration System

There is a growing demand for efficient air purifying systems, and industry leader Sagola has responded with a groundbreaking series of filters within the 5000X filtration system. Sagola's filters are meticulously designed to eliminate pollutants, allergens, and particles, ensuring a healthier indoor environment. The innovative features, including stainless steel couplings, wide surface filters, and machined aluminum vessels, set Sagola apart. Read through our blog to learn more about the air filter systems from Sagola's 5000X line.

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qtech airless paint sprayer
January 09, 2024

Revolutionizing Finishing: The Power of QTech Airless Sprayers at Total Finishing Supplies

After you project is roughed out and built, you need to perform a great finishing job to make sure it all looks great. Make sure you are choosing the right gear to get the job done right, done efficiently, and done quickly. Read on to learn about the QTech Airless Sprayer from Total Finishing Supplies!

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powder coating station
December 15, 2023

Powder Coating: In-House vs. Outsourcing – Weighing the Pros and Cons

With powder coating being a more popular way to finish, chances are you will need to find a way to provide that service. However, it requires a lot of investment and startup before it gets going. Despite this, outsourcing also brings its share of disadvantages and advantages to consider. Read on to learn more about what will work best for you.

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walcom 360 true light paint spray gun attachment
October 24, 2023

Illuminate Your Workspace with the Walcom 360 TRUE LIGHT

Lighting is a part of painting that can easily be overlooked. Because of this, the Walcom 360 TRUE LIGHT is a great option to enhance your paint sprayer and avoid drips or uneven application. It's important that any light be usable, bright, and easy to access when needed during a paint job, so read up on why the Walcom 360 TRUE LIGHT is a great choice for your tool belt!

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air compressor
October 12, 2023

TFS's Guide to Choosing the Right Air Compressor for the Job

If you have a job coming up and have to choose an air compressor, read through our guide on which compressor will help you the most. Whether it's a gas compressor or electric, and no matter the size or capacity, you'll find the info you need to get the job done right.

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compressed air filter set up
August 09, 2023

Compressed Air Filters VS Air Dryers: Understanding the Key Differences and Benefits

Compressed air filters and air dryers have different functions that oftentimes get mixed up and confused. Learn about the similarities and, more importantly, the differences between the two so you can make sure you are using the proper equipment.

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a wide belt sanding machine
July 13, 2023

Mastering Wide Belt Sanding: A Guide to Efficient Wood Surface Preparation

For all you need to know about wide belt sanding, look no further than Total Finishing Supplies and our wealth of knowledge. Learn about the how and why of wide belt sanding so that all your projects can turn out exactly as you need them to!

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You work in a paint spray Booth!  The Importance of Grade D Breathing Air: It Matters
June 28, 2023

You work in a paint spray Booth! The Importance of Grade D Breathing Air: It Matters

Why Grade D Breathing Air Matters

Safety is crucial in any workplace. As the adage for workplace safety goes, “an untrained employee is a hazard to themselves and others.”

The same is true for tools, equipment, and processes that are not meeting safety requirements. These can cause workplace injuries quickly, and the air you breathe is also critical.

Grade D breathing air is essential in all applications. Grade D compressed air must meet strict standards by multiple regulatory agencies such as Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  

Meeting Grade D breathing air requirements isn’t a one-time undertaking.  It is required in industrial facilities and applications where breathing masks, mouthpieces, and other apparatuses for the direct inhalation of air are involved. Experts need to make meeting compliance standards part of daily routine – from equipment inspection and repair to ongoing employee education.

What is Grade D Breathing Air?

Grade D breathing air is compressed air piped through a respirator and intended for use as breathing air by contractors handling harmful materials. In order to be considered Grade D breathing air, the following must be true:  

  • The air must be free of any notable odor
  • Condensed hydrocarbons cannot exceed 5 mg/m
  • Carbon monoxide can’t exceed 20 parts per million (ppm)
  • Carbon dioxide must be less than 1,000 ppm
  • Oxygen must be 19.5 to 23.5% (by volume)

tsunami grade d breathing airGrade D breathing air is often supplied from a compressor system located within the application area or through a respirator. This allows for constant airflow during the entire application process. A rotary screw compressor, portable compressed air supply, or a free air pump must be installed and maintained in accordance with CGA G-7 standards.  Filters must be changed regularly to ensure maximum efficiency and safety.

It’s important to remember that Grade D breathing air requirements are an essential part of safely completing certain tasks, such as spray foam application, and should not be taken lightly. 

OSHA Qualifications for Grade D Breathing Air Requirements

OSHA regulates standards for Grade D breathing air. According to OSHA, compressed air used for respiratory protection must meet certain specifications, such as:

  • Oil mist content of no more than 0.5 milligrams per cubic meter 
  • Water vapor content of no more than 5 milligrams per cubic meter
  • Oxygen content of no more than 0.1 percent by volume 

Approved respiratory protection should always be used when applying paints and coatings. Properly fitted, full-face respirators with special filters are highly recommended. 

Employers are obligated by OSHA to provide their workers with respiratory protection whenever they’re working with compressed air containing any hazardous pollutants, such as organic vapors or oil mists.  Additionally, employers must guarantee that

workers are trained on the correct usage and maintenance of respiratory protection in order to ensure the safety of all personnel.  Complying with OSHA Grade D breathing air requirements, means a healthier work environment and prepared and informed staff. 

What are CGA G-7 Standards?

The Compressed Gas Association (CGA) has been working to develop and promote safety standards for over 100 years.  The CGA advocates for “ever-improving safe, secure, and environmentally responsible manufacture, transportation, storage, transfilling, and disposal of industrial, medical, and food gases and their containers.”

The industry relies on CGA G-7 standards to establish the guidelines for Grade D breathing air, specifically around the safety of spray foam installation experts. These standards are also important for complying with regulations that govern safety in work areas. 

CGA standards are similar to those set by OSHA, in that Grade D breathing air must not contain: 

  • More than 0.5 milligrams of oil particles 
  • More than 5 milligrams of water vapor per cubic meter

Carbon monoxide monitoring standards for Grade D breathing air require that levels remain below the acceptable limit of 25 ppm.

Protocol also requires that compressor air filters be inspected and changed regularly to not only ensure efficiency, but also operator safety. With regular filter changes, those applying spray foam aren’t subjected to dust, dirt, oil particles, or other harmful contaminants. 

Regulation Compliance | Single-User vs. Multi-User Applications

When it comes to spray foam application, both single-user and multi-user applications require Grade D breathing air. 

Though CGA G-7 standards are in place for both applications, there is one key difference: a compressor used by many users at one time must be equipped with an oxygen monitor to ensure each user is receiving Grade D breathing air.

How to Test Grade D Breathing Air

Testing Grade D breathing air is necessary to ensure that it meets the required respiratory protection standards.

There are a number of tests available to check for oil particles, water vapor, oxygen, and other hazardous air contaminants. 

One of the most common tests used to check Grade D breathing air is the oil mist test. Oil mist can be generated by lubricants from compressors and other machines and can cause respiratory irritation, coughing, and other health issues. The oil mist test uses measures the number of oil particles in the air and is commonly used in conjunction with other tests such as the dew test. 

Gas chromatography is an analytical technique used to test for air contaminants. Gas chromatography tests the purity of the air in question - for our purposes the compressed air that will be breathed during operation. This test is a highly sensitive and accurate technique, making it suitable for analyzing the breathing air’s purity. 

Because Grade D breathing air testing requirements have specific requirements to meet, testing should be completed by an experienced professional. 

Why Do Grade D Breathing Air Requirements Exist?

It is necessary to comply with Grade D breathing air requirements to minimize injury or death in the workplace. Optimizing the breathing air that installation experts have available to them means reliability and better morale in the workplace, as well as healthy workers. When OSHA and regulatory requirements are met, spray foam installation experts can have the peace of mind they prefer when starting a job.

Where to Buy Grade D Breathing Air Equipment

TFS supplies several brands of breathing air equipment, including Tsunami, who we thank for this blog.  Visit to learn more. 

Tsunami Breathing Air System, part 21999-0265

Tsunami Breathing Air System, part 21999-0980

Binks Millennium 3000

3M® Versaflo™

3m versaflo

SATA filter 5000 series

sata filter 500 series

Martech PPE

martech ppe

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tritech industries t360f paint sprayer
May 10, 2023

Aircoat vs. Airless Paint Spraying in Industrial Shops: Understanding the Differences

Airless vs Aircoat or Air-Assisted Airless. Which is the one for you and your project? Total Finishing Solutions has all the paint sprayer information you need to apply the best and most beautiful coating!

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airless paint sprayer from TriTech
April 21, 2023

Comparison of TriTech Airless Sprayers - The Delorean of Airless Pumps

TriTech Airless Paint Sprayers are made in the USA and you may wonder why you should choose a TriTech over other brands. At Total Finishing Supplies, we have those answers. Read on to learn what sets these airless paint sprayers apart from the crowd.

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How important is it to keep a spray booth clean?
January 26, 2023

How important is it to keep a spray booth clean?

Keeping your spray booths clean is extremely important. Improper care can cost thousands in repairs. Dust and debris landing on your project can cost you the job.

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What are the benefits of a solvent recycler?  Do I need one?
January 17, 2023

What are the benefits of a solvent recycler? Do I need one?

If you work with a lot of solvents, consider buying a solvent recycler rather than paying a recycling service.

  • Reduce hazardous waste by recycling your used solvent
  • There are cost savings benefits from purchasing a solvent recycler
  • Total Finishing Solutions can quote the right solvent recycler for your business and provide finance options

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Does airflow affect your spray booth’s operational capabilities?
January 04, 2023

Does airflow affect your spray booth’s operational capabilities?

Airflow is one of the most important factors that can affect your spray booth's operational capabilities. If you do not maintain proper airflow, you will compromise the efficiency and performance of your spray booth.

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What is the best air-assisted airless (AAA) spray gun?
December 16, 2022

What is the best air-assisted airless (AAA) spray gun?

While there are many spray guns to chose from, one of our favorites is the VIPER manual spray gun from  The VIPER gun uses “Mix Tech” spray technology to provide you with exceptional atomization, performance, value, durability, and finish quality.

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Wagner, Binks, and Anest Iwata piston pumps
December 15, 2022

Did you know there is a right and wrong way to shut down your paint pump?

Did you know there is a right and a wrong way to shut down your paint pump? Just stopping air to the paint pump causes a hard stroke when it is turned back on, which can prematurely wear the pump’s seals. Follow these tips to ensure your equipments lasts!

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