You need good ventilation for spray tanning. We also recommend wearing face masks to protect against the proportion of particles that escape extraction by your ventilation or air filtration system, remaining airborne. Face masks are the last line of defence against airborne particles to protect the health of yourself and your client.
The mask should be worn for the duration spent in the tanning room or enclosure, although you will need to ask the client to hold their breath while they remove the mask to spray their face.
These face masks filter particulates up to a concentration of 10 times the Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL) of the sprayed product. Without the masks your extraction system would need to have an extraction rate ten times greater, which could be prohibitively expensive to install. Face masks allow you to opt for a cost-effective and space-saving unit, such as the SolarEx A200T air filtration unit or similarly specified extractor.
Offering face masks to clients shows them that you take your health and safety responsibilites seriously and that you do not take unnecessary risks. If your client suffers from respiratory disorders such as asthma, the therapist mask will offer greater protection as it filters perfume vapour, but we recommend that they consult their doctor first.
Tanning solutions should all be non-toxic, but each should have an Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL) established. As each tanning product may have different ingredients, you should ask your provider 'What is the OEL of the product?' or 'What are the minimum requirements for extraction and face masks?'. All spray tanning systems deliver the product onto the client by airborn particles, so be wary of any that claim not to require extraction or masks. And if you opt for a product which claims not to need masks, then there's nothing to stop you taking the extra precautions.
St. Tropez, one of the leading brands, are very proactive on the Health and Safety issues. They recommend using face masks and good ventilation. When using St. Tropez through an airbrush as recommended, the minimum extraction rate required is 270m³/hr to accompany the use of the face masks. Any extraction rate above that will provide extra safety margin, comfort and cleanliness of the environment.
The face masks are class FFP2 particulate respirators conforming to EN 149:2001.