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PPE: Respiratory protection

PPE: Respiratory protection

No respirator is able to avoid user’s exposure to airborne contaminants. Respirators and masks help to protect against to certain pollutants in the air, going down quantities from the breathing area; below from the threshold limit value and other recommended exposure levels.

“The main goal of the protective mask is to avoid external pollutants inhalation to prevent any harm to the user’s health. Thus it guarantees the user to breath the appropriate air”, explains David Escanilla, the chief of the Elements of Personal Protection Section, from the Public Health.

The inadequate use of the respirator could cause an overexposure to pollutants causing illness or death.

General constraints for usage

» These respirators don’t supply oxygen.

» Do not use them at atmospheric concentrations less than 16% of oxygen or when the quantity of pollutants is dangerous to life or health.

» Do not use positive or negative pressure respirators with facepieces in case of having any kind of porosities on the face that don’t allow the tight-fitting.

Types of respirators

» Mechanical filters: dusts and mist.

» Chemical cartridge respirators: organic steam and gases.

» Reusable elastomeric respirators: when the atmosphere is foul of gas or vapor.

» Powered air-purifying respirators: For atmospheres with less than 16% of oxygen in volumen.

Main recommendations.

» Make sure to adapt the mask adequate over the user’s face in order to prevent any access to pollutants. Before that routine checks and objective evaluations of the adjustment of equipment must be done.

» User must be shaved since facial hair makes gaps between the mask and skin, which makes difficult a good adjustment and allows the entry of polluted air to the user’s airway.

» User must use a mask according to the size of his face since there are the following sizes, S,M,L.

» A periodic cleanliness must be done in order to prevent pollutants and to extend the usage of the equipment.

» When it’s about a equipment that filters air, take care the filter is appropriate to the nature of the contaminant (particle filter, specific filters for gases and vapors or combined filters).

» If the oxygen in the air is not enough, you have to get the equipment that supplies it.

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