Respirators are very important to wear in construction work. They protect the wearer from breathing dangerous dusts, fumes, or gases like silica, welding fumes, or carbon monoxide.
Today various respirators are available in the market in different styles and they come with different filters or cartridges.
Each respirator filter is designed to protect against different gases or fumes hazards that are present in air at the time of work.
There are two types of respirators:
1. Supplied Air Respirators
2. Air Purifying Respirators
Supplied air respirators
Supplied air respirators give clean air to breath as they supplies air from compressor or compressed air cylinder.
These respirators are used when workers have to work in the most dangerous conditions. Supplied air respirators are also used when there is not enough oxygen in the working environment.
These respirators require right training else one can get themselves killed.
Air purifying respirators are the one which filters air and provide clean air to breathe. These respirators are often called as half face respirators and they have filters installed in them.
These respirators are reusable as you can replace their filters when they serve the purpose for several hour of work.
The thing to remember is that air purifying respirators do not supply oxygen and they should only be used in the environment that has proper supply of oxygen.
There are different types of filters that are used in half mask respirators. Each set of filters protect against tiny particles, dusts, mists, or fumes.
These filters are being rated as P100, N-95, R90 etc.
> N means Not resistant to oil
> R means Resistant to oil
> P means oil-P
Bigger the number after the letter says that filter gives more protection. For e.g. p100 filter protects better than p95 and so.
While construction job dust like asbestos, lead, and silica can easily be inhaled so we recommend you to use filters rate 100.
These filters should be changed after 40 hours of use or when it gets tough to breathe through them.
Cartridges protect against solvents, acid gases, fumes and organic vapors. Cartridge that is designed to protect against acid gases will not protect you if you are exposed to solvents.
You can use combination of cartridges and filters to get protection against dusts and gases together. Cartridges should be changed after several hours of use and time depends upon type and amount of toxic gases or vapors present in the air.
If you are working on a construction site that has sufficient supply of oxygen then you can use half mask respirator.
Not only you should wear respirator but you should also wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from dust and dust particles.
You may need a respirator:
1. When you are working on a site that has asbestos or lead-based paint fumes present
2. When you are chipping or cutting concrete that contains silica
3. Drilling rock in a construction site
4. When you are sanding, cutting, or welding
5. When the construction site has high amount of toxic gases present in it
6. Using a generator in the site
7. Working in the area full of dust that has hazardous air particles present in it
8. When you are working in any chemical factory and need protection from chemicals fumes and gases.
You must choose the respirator according to the hazard present in the air.
Please select right filters and cartridges for your respirators before you enter any construction site.
How do half face Respirators Work against construction dust?
Respirators work by filtering the air and by providing clean fresh air to breath. The filters that are used in these half face respirators simply filter the hazardous particles for which they are designed.
When you enter any construction site it is obvious that you will come in contact with dust and dust particles.
These dust particles when inhaled can be very dangerous to health and can lead to serious lung damage. Fine dust particles present in the air are very dangerous, especially if they’re silica dust particles.
If a person inhale these fine dust particles then they can cause a variety of diseases. Some people may also experience irritation in their eyes, nose, throat, skin and lings when exposed directly to construction dust.
Types of Construction Dust from which respirator protects
1. Silica dust:
This dust is very common in all construction sites. Silica is a natural mineral and it exists in cement, concrete, and mortar. This dust is very harmful if inhaled and this dust occurs when you do cutting, drilling, grinding, and sandblasting materials like granite, sand, and sandstone. Respirator protects your from this dust by filtering out the fine particles of this harmful mineral and by providing you fresh air to breath.
2. Non-silica dust:
Workers may come across different construction sites that do not have silica present. Non silica dust is present when worker are cutting bricks or while doing wood working job at the site. This dust is not so toxic like silica dust but still regular inhaling of it can cause severe respiratory problem.
3. Wood dust:
Wood dust surfaces when you work mainly on hardwood and softwood. Carpenters are under high risk of inhaling wood dust while doing wood sanding and cutting of chipboard, MDF, and plywood and that is why it is important to wear a respirator.
Hazards of Construction Dust for Workers
When someone regularly inhales any of the construction dust then chances are high that they will get some serious lung disease.
Fine dust particles are very dangerous and if anyone inhales silica dust particles then the lung capacity will reduce which will put strain on your heart.
Some people when exposed to this dust will experience irritation in eyes, nose, throat, skin, and lungs. Dust is the reason why few people starts coughing just when they enter the construction site.
Dust can also cause or exacerbate asthma and can even cause lung cancer as when these dust particles settles in the deepest recesses of your lungs, it can damage the surrounding tissue.
As discussed above we can say that construction dust is very harmful to health. Any worker can easily get affected by it while working at a job site.
Here we recommend you to use a proper respiratory protection that will save your lungs by filtering all the harmful particles present in the air.
So if you are the one looking for a respirator now then we recommend you to wear BreathBuddy P100 respirator which filters out 99.9% of the silica dust and other dust particle easily.