Frequently Asked Questions About Respirator Mask

Frequently Asked Questions About Respirator Mask

What is respirator?

Respirator is a device that provides protection against harmful air particles, fumes, mist, vapors, and gases.

Workers should wear these when working in a harmful environment.

There are several kinds of respirators available that provide protection against different kind of work hazards.

What are respirators made from?

Usually the face piece of respirator is made from silicone, neoprene, and rubber.

What are filters made of?

Filters used in respirators are made of non woven fibrous materials, such as wool felt, fiberglass paper, or polypropylene.

What optional features are available for respirators?

Respirators come with various features such as nose cups reduce lens fogging with full face piece respirators.

Lens covers protect the lens from paint chemical splash and scratches. Adjustable straps gives option to wearer to adjust the face piece according to the face size.

Are there any cautions or limitations when using respirators?

Yes there are several limitations when using respirators. Each respirator is designed to provide protection against different kind of hazards for which it is designed.

Respirator should provide an adequate fit to the face, and cannot be used with facial hair.

Respirators should be properly cleaned after each use and should be used with right set of filters.

Can a respirator help protect against very small particles like PM2.5, smoke, soot, bacteria and viruses?

Yes, respirators when used with right set of filters do provide protection against PM2.5, smoke, soot, bacteria and viruses.

Respirators when used with P3, P2 filters also provide protection against COVID-19.

Do valves on respirators impact their effectiveness?

The main purpose of the exhalation valve in respirator is to reduce the breathing resistance during exhale. The exhalation valve does not impact a respirator’s ability to provide respiratory protection.

It is specially designed to during exhalation to allow exhaled air to exit the respirator and then close tightly during inhalation, so inhaled air is not permitted to enter the respirator through the valve.

Will Filters remove odors from wildfires, air pollution, etc.?

Yes, high standard filters such P2 and P3 will remove odors from wildfires and air pollution, etc.

They are also very effective against fumes, mist, organic vapors, dust, soot, ash and several gases. It is always recommended to consult a professional while choosing the right kind of filters. 

Does 95% efficient mean that 5% of the particles get through the filter?

The main purpose of the respirator is to help reduce, not eliminate, exposures to airborne hazards.

For example, N95 rated filters have filtration efficiency of at least 95% against non-oily particles. “95” rating means the mask will filter out 95% of relevant particles for which it is designed.

Can older adults or individuals who have medical conditions wear a respirator?

Breathing through respirator is bit tough as compared to regular breathing.

People with several health problems or breathing problems like asthma must consult health care executive before wearing a respirator.

What should I do to become familiar with respirators and how to use them?

If you are not familiar with respirator then you should practice putting on the respirator in a clean area before you begin using it in a contaminated area.

You should also consult professionals, watch videos related to respirators, should read owner manual to know how to put the respirator on correctly.

How important is the fit of the respirator?

Respirator should provide a tight seal around your face so that there are no chances of leakage.

Always choose a right size respirator that sits comfortably on your face. If the respirator does not provide a tight seal around your face then airborne hazards can enter around and through the gaps in the face seal.

To get the right fit you must shave your face before wearing a respirator.

Do I have to shave my beard to use a respirator?

Yes, respirator does not provide complete protection if user have beards or long mustaches.

Beards, long mustaches, and stubble may cause leaks into the respirator.

Can filters be washed?

No, filters should not be washed. They must be changed after 40 hours of use or if they get damaged.

Can filtering face piece respirators be re-used?

Yes you can re use the face piece of respirator. You just need to change the filters within certain time frame. But it is recommended to wash the face piece after use.

How should I store my respirator before use?

Storing the respirator before and after use is very important.

  1. Always store the respirator in its original packaging when not in use. You can store it in a properly sealed bag.
  2. Keep it away from any hazardous environment.
  3. Store it away from direct sunlight.

How often the filters must be replaced? Life of respirator filters.

It is recommended to change the filters after 40 hours of use.

You can also change them if they get damaged or when it gets tough to breathe through them.

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