A Guide to Respiratory Protection


Breathing Hazards

Particulates
Can be created from a solid or a liquid. Solid particles are produced by operations such as grinding, crushing, drilling, blasting, sanding, and milling.
Gases
Created when solid materials vaporize under high heat. Fumes come from operations such as welding, smelting, and pouring of molten metal.
Fumes
Created when solid materials vaporize under high heat. Fumes come from operations such as welding, smelting, and pouring of molten metal.
Vapors
Formed when a solid or liquid evaporates. Common vapors are gasoline, paint thinners, and degreaser solvents.

Respiratory Selection Guide

Hazard Respirator Choices
Particulate Contaminants Disposable
Air Purifying Facepeice with filter
PAPR with filter
Airline
SCBA
Gas/Vapor Contaminant Air Purifying with chemical cartridges
PAPR with chemical cartridges
Airline
SCBA
Gas/Vapor/Particulate Contaminants Air Purifying with chemical cartridges and filters
PAPR with chemical cartridges and filter
Airline SCBA
Oxygen Deficient or IDHL (Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health) Airline with escape cylinder
SCBA

Filter Selection

Filter Time Restriction
N - Filters non-oil based particulates No time restrictions
R - Filters non-oil & oil based particulates Use restricted to one 8-hour shift
P - Filters non-oil & oil based particulates No time restrictions

Respirator Solutions

Air Purifying Disposable Respirators
These respirators contain filter material to block airborne particles from passing through the wearer's facemask. Designed to be thrown away when used to capacity.
Air Purifying Maintenance-Free Respirators
These respirators contain filter material to block airborne particles from passing through the wearer's facemask. Designed to be thrown away when used to capacity.
Air Purifying Low Maintenance Respirators
Combine the economy of disposables with the flexibility of reusable respirators. Cartridges, prefilters, and some replacement parts are available.
Air Purifying Reusable Respirators
Heavy-duty respirators feature a full line of replacement parts for longer life. Cartridges are available for a wide variety of chemical contaminants. Pre-filters are available for additional protection from particulates.
Powered Air Purifying Respirators
Battery charged blower units power these respirators and supply a continuous flow of filtered air into the headpiece. These systems are available with additional head protection for a variety of application requirements.
Airline Respirator Systems
Airline systems use a pump and hose to bring breathable air into the wearer's face mask system. This supplied air can be pressure demand-air flows only when you breathe, or continuous flow-a constant stream of air flows into the face mask system.
Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus Systems
These respirators allow you to carry your own supply of breathable air. Emergency Escape Breathing Apparatus (EEBA) systems utilize smaller tanks and are used for escape purposes only. EEBAs may also be used in conjunction with airline systems.

OSHA Requirements

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) oversees and regulates workplace health and safety. OSHA requirements define the minimum acceptable standards for a Respiratory Program. These requirements include the following:

  1. Establish written operating procedures for selecting and using respirators.
  2. Properly select respirators based on hazards your workers are exposed to.
  3. Conduct fit testing and train workers on the proper use and limitations of respirators.
  4. Clean and disinfect respirators regularly.
  5. Store respirators in a convenient and sanitary location.
  6. Routinely inspect respirators during cleaning and replace worn or deteriorating parts. Emergency use respirators must be thoroughly inspected at least once a month and after every use.
  7. Survey work area conditions and degree of employee exposure or stress.
  8. Regularly inspect and evaluate the effectiveness of your Respiratory Program.
  9. Do not assign persons to tasks requiring respirator use unless they have been medically evaluated and deemed fit to perform the work and use the equipment.
  10. Use only NIOSH approved respirators.
Related Links

3M™ Breathe Easy™ System

Build the system that's right for you!

The Breathe Easy™ System consists of a helmet or hood, breathing tube, turbo PAPR unit, and battery charger. The battery charged turbo unit powers the system and supplies a steady stream of cool, filtered air to the headpiece. The unit can operate continuously for up to 8 hours. Systems are customized with cartridges specific to your needs.

Easy to order in 3 simple steps

Step 1 - Select your helmet, facepiece, or hood

A variety of hoods and helmets are available and compatible with turbo units. Please check your selection to see if the breathing tube is included or sold separately. There are a number of accessories available to make using the helmet, facepiece, or hood more comfortable. Accessories may include spectacle holders for full facepiece respirators, chin face seals, and Nomex® neck protectors for use with welding helmets.

Step 2 - Select your cartridge

Cartridges are available for many applications. The cartridge you select will determine which turbo unit you need.

Step 3 - Select your turbo unit

The choice of turbo units is based on the cartridges that are required for use in your specific application and environment. Single Turbo Unit (Item# 154-9278) for use with single cartridges. Combo Turb Unit (Item# 154-23358) for use with combo cartridges.


3M™ Belt-Mounted PAPR

How does a belt-mounted Power Air Purifying Respirator system work?

This belt-mounted system consists of a hood, helmet, or facepiece, breathing tube, and PAPR motor blower unit. Blower unit is powered by a NiCad battery and can operate up to 8 hours per charge. Systems are customized with cartridges specific to the wearer's needs.

Easy to order... Simple to customize in 3 easy steps

Step 1 - Select your PAPR unit

Choose PAPR motor blower. The motor blower comes with blower unit, battery, charger, belt flow meter, power cord, and plugs. Accessories and replacement parts are available and sold separately.

Step 2 - Select your hood, headgear, or facepiece, and breathing tube

A variety of hoods and helmets are available. All are compatible with the belt-mounted PAPR motor blower. Select the headpiece that best fits your requirements. Breathing tubes are sold separately and should be purchased with your headpiece. Please select the item# for the breathing tube that is listed with your headpiece.

Step 3 - Select your 3M PAPR cartridge

Cartridges are available for many applications. Choose the one that's right for you!


Questions about Respiratory Protection?

Call our knowledgeable Technical Support Department at 1-800-571-4646, 8 am - 5 pm ET, Monday - Friday, or email us.

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