Types of Respirators:

A. Air-Purifying Respirator

These respirators remove air contaminants by filtering, absorbing, adsorbing, or chemical reaction with the contaminants as they pass through the respirator canister or cartridge. This respirator is to be used only where adequate oxygen (19.5 to 23.5 percent by volume) is available. Air-purifying respirators can be classified as follows:

    1. Particulate removing respirators, which filter out dusts, fibers, fumes and mists. These respirators may be single-use disposable respirators or respirators with replaceable filters.
    2. NOTE: Surgical masks do not provide protection against air contaminants. They are never to be used in place of an air-purifying respirator. They are for medical use only.
  1. Gas- and vapor-removing respirators, which remove specific individual contaminants or a combination of contaminants by absorption, adsorption or by chemical reaction. Gas masks and chemical-cartridge respirators are examples of gas- and vapor-removing respirators.
  2. Combination particulate/gas- and vapor-removing respirators, which combine the respirator characteristics of both kinds of air-purifying respirators.

B. Supplied-Air Respirators

These respirators provide breathing air independent of the environment. Such respirators are to be used when the contaminant has insufficient odor, taste or irritating warning properties, or when the contaminant is of such high concentration or toxicity that an air-purifying respirator is inadequate.

Supplied- air respirators, also called air-line respirators, are classified as follows:

1. Demand

This respirator supplies air to the user on demand (inhalation) which creates a negative pressure within the face piece. Leakage into the face piece may occur if there is a poor seal between the respirator and the user’s face.