Respirator Filters

There are 5 steps to a OSHA compliant respirator program. These steps involve analyzing the current program (or lack of), identifying the contaminants, selecting the proper protection, developing a replacement program and ongoing monitoring. The details of such a program can be researched via OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.134.

How long do respirator filters last?

  • Is your filter hard to breath through?
  • Have you exceeded the manufacturer exposure limit?
  • Can you smell or taste the material?
  • Has your filter been unsealed?
  • Is the filter damaged or wet?
It may be time to replace your respirator filter.
A full selection of Filters and cartridges can be found here.
respirator filters - General Purpose

Replacing respirator filters is an integral part of a safety program's procedures. When working with dangerous chemicals, a site audit should be performed so that exact information on the location in question can be developed.

Respirator Replacement can be difficult to determine. Exposure length, humidity, temperature, saturation and actual mix of offending vapors/mists and particles can drastically change the effective time of filters. In general if your respirator is wet, you can smell the materials or it's been exposed to air for a prolonged period, it's best to replace it. 3M's website offers detailed information via their Service Life Program. Additionally, the more hazardous the chemical, the more rigorous of a safety program you will need.


What makes up a good Safety Program?

Analyze your current OSHA respirator safety program

By analyzing your current safety program, as outlined by OSHA can help you to identify areas that need improvement. This may involve simply determining that you have no workplace respirator program and that you need one. Or, it may outline the current program that you already employ so that through the following steps, you can determine it's efficacy

Identify location contaminants

It is important to quantify and identify the contaminants at the location of interest. Additionally, MSDS sheets for all materials present in the location should be reviewed to protect against potential exposures. Consultants can be used for these processes, and generally analyze the air, and surroundings along with potential risks as well. By developing, inspecting and recording this information, you will have detailed information that will allow you to determine proper materials for protection.

Selection of Protective Products

Once you have identified the offending materials, you can consult with Enviro Safety to determine the proper filter for your needs. We have access to many resources that can help to locate the proper products such as masks and filters, protective clothing and more.

Filter & Mask Replacement Program

If you are using 3M products, 3M has a service life calculator that takes into account many variables. However, it's important that proper information be input into the program - as incorrect information will return incorrect results.

Continuous Monitoring

Any safety program requires monitoring for not only compliance with outlined procedures, but monitoring for injury or symptoms of failure. Programs that continually monitor results and expectations can save lives.

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