What are Air-Purifying Respirators?

Air-purifying respirators (APRs) work by removing gases, vapors, aerosols (droplets and solid particles), or a combination of contaminants from the air through the use of filters, cartridges, or canisters. These respirators do not supply oxygen and therefore cannot be used in an atmosphere that is oxygen-deficient or immediately dangerous to life or health. The appropriate respirator for a particular situation will depend on the environmental contaminant(s).

  • Filtering Facepiece Respirator (FFR)
    • Disposable
    • Covers the nose and mouth
    • Filters out particles such as dust, mist, and fumes
    • Select from N, R, P series 95, 99, 100 efficiency level
    • Does NOT provide protection against gases and vapors
    • Fit testing required
  • Elastomeric Half Facepiece Respirator
    • Reusable facepiece and replaceable cartridges or filters
    • Can be used to protect against gases, vapors, or particles if equipped with the appropriate cartridge or filter
    • Covers the nose and mouth
    • Fit testing required
  • Elastomeric Full Facepiece respirator
    • Reusable facepiece and replaceable canisters, cartridges, or filters
    • Can be used to protect against gases, vapors, or particles, if equipped with the appropriate cartridge, canister, or filter
    • Provides eye protection
    • More effective face seal than FFRs or elastomeric half-facepiece respirators
    • Fit testing required
  • Powered Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR)
    • Reusable components and replaceable filters or cartridges
    • Can be used to protect against gases, vapors, or particles, if equipped with the appropriate cartridge, canister, or filter
    • Battery-powered with blower that pulls air though attached filters or cartridges
    • Provides eye protection
    • Low breathing resistance
    • Loose-fitting PAPR does NOT require fit testing and can be used with facial hair
    • Tight-fitting PAPR requires fit testing

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