Did you know, it is up to the employer to identify respiratory hazards in the workplace and protect employees from those hazards? At IPC, we provide the best respirator solutions to fit your environment. Respirators should be chosen based upon the contaminant, the concentration of the contaminant, and the proper type for the employee (clean shaven vs. a beard). Even if the employee is wearing a respirator voluntarily, the employer is still responsible for determining that the employee is medically capable of wearing it and that the employee is maintaining it properly. Single strap Dust Masks are exempt from this requirement though. Here is a reference link for more OSHA requirement details.
As dictated under certification requirements for respirator filters by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), there are three series of filters: N series, R series and P series. Each series of respirator filter designates a set of specifications. In short, N-series filters are not resistant to oil, R-series filters are resistant to oil, and P-series filters are oil proof.
- N-Series Respirator Filters – N-series respirator filters (N95, N99, and N100) are good for protection against airborne particulates such as lead and silica, where there are no oil-based particulates involved. You might use an N-series respirator filter for removing old lead paint. But, for a job that involves the spray application of an oil-based paint, an R-series respirator filter or a P-series respirator filter would be more appropriate, as they provide more resistance against mists of oil-based products.
- R-Series Respirator Filters – R-series respirator filters (R95, R99, and R100) are defined as oil resistant. This means that they provided limited short-term protection against airborne oil-based particulates, but they should only be used for one work shift. The R-series respirator filters are oil-resistant, but may lose efficiency over extended use, and should be replaced frequently.
- P-Series Respirator Filters – P-series respirator filters (P95, P99, and P100) are defined as oil proof. They provide the highest level of protection against oil-based particulates and are better suited for extended use then R-series filters, but they are by no means meant to be used indefinitely. Make sure to check the manufacturer’s specifications for information regarding the life of your P-series respirator filter. There may be some reduction in protection over long-term use.
- Respirator Filter Efficiency Ratings – What do 95, 99 and 100 Ratings Refer To?
The number classifications associated with N, R and P series respirator filters refer to the percentage efficiency at removing particulate from breathing air. 95, 99 and 100 series filters are 95%, 99% and 99.97% efficient, respectively. For example, a P100 respirator filter, which is traditionally magenta colored, offers the highest level of protection; it is both oil-proof and 99.97% efficient.
- IPC offers a full line of respiratory protection including air supplied respirators, self-contained breathing apparatus, PAPR (Powered Air Purifiers), sand blasting hoods, full-face and half-mask cartridge/filter respirators, and respirator accessories.
- Respirator Fit Testing – IPC also offers Qualitative Respirator Fit Testing for those of you in a respirator program. We’ll come to your facility and perform a detailed product training of the respirators and fit test utilizing Bitrix. Fit Test Forms are filled out per employee, which will stay in the employee’s file. This is a great tool to save you time and money. Local clinics charge high fees to perform this service.
Not for sure what type of respirator is needed for your employees? Take a minute and check out 3M’s Respirator Medical Evaluation. It is an easy-to-use questionnaire that helps establish the worker’s clearance level for using a specific respirator in your work conditions.
Contact us today. Let us help you find a respirator solution for your application!