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Respiratory Protection

Respiratory Protection

Respiratory equipment protects users against insufficient oxygen environments, harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors, and sprays. These wearable devices are used to filter airborne contaminants or to provide clean, breathable air to the user.

NIOSH-approved respiratory protection consists of two main types: air-purifying respirators (APRs) and atmosphere-supplied respirators (ASRs). It is crucial to identify all respiratory hazards within an environment before choosing a type of respirator.

APRs remove particles, gases, vapors, aerosols, or a combination of contaminants from the air using filters, cartridges, or canisters. APR types include:


ASRs provide clean breathing air from a non-ambient source. These respirators protect workers from many types of airborne contaminants (particles, gases, and vapors) and, in certain cases, oxygen-deficient atmospheres. ASR types include:

Face masks are single-use barriers that cover a user’s nose and mouth and should not be used in lieu of OSHA-standard respiratory protection.

Fit testing kits are designed to evaluate respirator fit, determine device suitability, and adhere to compliance requirements. Tight-fitting APRs and ASRs and particulate FFRs require initial and annual fit testing. EEBA, loose-fitting hoods, and face masks do not require fit testing.

Regulatory compliance details can be obtained at the individual product level.

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