Frequently Asked Questions About Respiratory Protection in Work Environments
What types of N95s are available?
3M offers a wide variety of N95 respirators, including - 8200, 8210, 9205+, 9210+, 9211+, 9502+, 1870+, and 1860 amongst others.
3M 8212 N95 Mask offers respiratory protection for applications such as welding or soldering where metal fumes may be present.
3M 9205+ N95 Mask offers comfortable, reliable worker protection against non-oil-based particles.
3M 1870+ N95 Mask is a surgical mask designed for protection against electrocautery, laser surgery, and other powered medical instruments. This mask is fluid-resistant.
3M 9211+ N95 Mask offers respiratory protection for workers involved in cleaning, composite finishing, final finish, paint preparation, and welding. It is also used in marine industry.
What does the 3M PAPR system do?
3M ™ Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPRs) make use of air filtering technologies to offer holistic respiratory protection to the wearer. Designed to be compliant with OSHA guidelines, the 3M PAPR system pushes the filtered air to the headgear and facepiece through a battery-powered blower unit. PAPRs force air through filter cartridges or canisters and into the breathing zone of the wearer.
What are the various types of masks available for protection against airborne particles?
There are three types of respirators -
Air-purifying respirators (APRs) - APRs use filters, cartridges, or canisters to remove gases, vapors, aerosols, or a combination of contaminants from the air. Tight-fitting APRs require fit testing prior to use.
Disposable as well as Reusable N95 masks are all essentially air-purifying respirators that are specially designed to offer protection against airborne particles.
Atmosphere-supplying respirators (ASRs) - ASRs provide clean breathing air from a separate source. These respirators are designed to protect workers from many types of airborne contaminants (dust particles, gases, and vapors) and, in certain cases, oxygen-deficient atmospheres. Tight-fitting ASRs require fit testing prior to use.
Are there specific guidelines requiring the use of respiratory protection by OSHA?
Yes. Compliance with OSHA guidelines mandate that the need of respiratory protection by an employee should be determined by a physician or other licensed health care professional (PLHCP). Here, the PLHCP denotes an individual who is legally permitted by his or her professional license to conduct the type of medical evaluation required by the respiratory standard. Based on the recommendation of the PLHCP, the employer is required to provide a PAPR.
Are there specific guidelines requiring the use of respiratory protection by the International Labor Organization?
Yes. In accordance with the guidelines issued by the ILO, the following steps must be taken by employers to ensure the safety of the workers
Only use PPE as a last resort.
If PPE is still needed after implementing other controls (and there will be circumstances when it is, e.g. heads protection on most construction sites), they must provide this for their workers free of charge.
They must choose the equipment carefully (see selection details below) and ensure workers are trained to use it properly and know how to detect and report any faults.
Giving due consideration to the same, an auto factory worker inspecting car production line should be provided with appropriate respiratory protection to safeguard them from the hazards caused by sprays that are used to paint the car and its various parts.