Different types of respiratory protection

Respirators can be divided into filter masks and fan-assisted respiratory protection. Filter masks have a filter that somehow separates particles or gases from the breathing air. Fan-assisted respirators instead supply air or oxygen that must be free of contaminants from tubes, compressed air units or the outdoor environment. Filter masks have the advantage of being easy to carry and quick to put on when needed. The disadvantage is that they provide slightly less protection than fan-assisted respirators, which are more reliable than filter masks. There is no risk that the filter becoming clogged or a gas filter becoming saturated and starting to let air pollutants through. Fan-assisted respirators are a bit clumsier, and you must wear air tubes or be connected via a hose that supplies air.

Filtering half mask

  • The protection consists entirely or mostly of filter material.
  • Air passes through the filter material when inhaled.
  • Exhaled air passes through the filter material or through the exhalation valve.
  • The mask covers the mouth, nose and chin.
  • Filter masks should never be used in an environment that is directly hazardous to life and health.

Half face mask

  • Inhalation air passes through one or more filters into the mask via an inhalation valve.
  • Exhaled air passes through an exhalation valve.
  • When the filter becomes full, the filter(s) are replaced by new ones fitted to the half mask.
  • The inhalation air can also come from a breathing apparatus.
  • The mask covers the chin, mouth and nose.

Full face mask

  • This mask is supplied with air in the same way as a half mask.
  • The mask covers the chin, mouth, nose and eyes.
  • Filters with standard threads can be used.
  • A full-face mask should be used in high concentrations of gases and vapours to protect the respiratory tract and the eyes.
  • When the filter becomes full, replace the filter(s) with new ones fitted to the full-face mask.
  • Full face masks should not be used if the ambient concentration is higher than 5000 ppm (0.5% by volume).

Fan-assisted respirators

  • Inhalation air is supplied via a fan with one or more filters to the helmet, face shield or hood. The fan is battery powered.
  • Exhaled air passes through exhalation valves.
  • Only filters with which the equipment has been tested may be used (system tested).
  • Maximum comfort is provided by overpressure.

Compressed air-fed respirators

  • Compressed air filters are required to purify the air from the compressor before it reaches the user.
  • The airflow is either constant or adjustable with a valve.
  • Equipment connected after the compressed air filter must be approved together, i.e.