Respirators are an invaluable weapon in protection against hazards caused by airborne contaminants. But before you go and waste your money on randomly chosen respirator masks, it's important to get familiar with their various types and designation.
TYPES TO CONSIDER
There are different types of respirators readily available for purchase, and it is important to know which one will fit and suit your needs best. Let us start with a quick overview:
N95/FFP1/FFP2/FFP3 Respirator - These are disposable types, where a stiff fiber cover is placed over the mouth area and the nose. It allows you to breath in clean air yet it filters out the chemicals. For comfort, a metal band found on the bridge area of your nose is bendable so you can adjust it to your face.N95/FFP1/FFP2/FFP3 respirators are best suited for jobs that include dusting, sweeping, bagging etc.
Notable Features and Tips: In case you are allergic to Latex, look for a mask where it says 'hypoallergenic'. If you have long hair, make sure that the mask has gentle head straps.
Half Face Respirator - This type covers the mouth and the nose but it is a bit wider than the N95. Think of it as additional protection to the cheek area that can also filter out many more chemical types. You can still see clearly, although you might need to wear protective goggles as well. It has two filter cartridges to supply you with fresh air so it will not feel warm inside and will not cause additional perspiration. Since half face respirators are usually of standard size and designed to fit most people, you may not find their size specification.
Notable Features and Tips: Half face respirator of high quality is one whose filter cartridges do not obstruct your view. The cartridges should be low-profile ones. If you are wearing a long beard, it is strongly recommended that you trim it to ensure optimal protection.
Full Face Respirator - As the name implies, this is set offering a full face protection, which is very important if you will be working with harmful elements that could impair your vision. With this, you no longer need additional protective goggles since it is built in already. Full face respirators can usually be divided into two types: mechanical and electrical. The electrical ones are also known as supplied air respirators, and are suited for jobs in environments overwhelmed with dangerous chemicals.
Notable Features and Tips: Inadequate seal of the respirator nose cup may result in lens fogging. Make sure the manufacturer of the mask you buy had this issue taken care of.
Surgical Mask - Anyone who has ever gone to the dentist has surely seen one of those. The surgical mask is disposable and consists of a thin fabric layer that covers the nose and mouth area. It is designed to protect against the spreading of germs and bursts of biological fluids.
EXPERIENCE IS THE BEST TEACHER
In a nutshell, we have covered the main types of respirators currently available on the market. It is always best to learn from experience, preferably of other people's experience. Therefore we strongly recommend that you read our customer reviews, and get a clear idea of what you are about to buy.