Air-Purifying Respirator – What is it

Personal protective equipment (PPE), also known as an air-purifying respirator (APR) or gas mask, is designed to protect workers from harmful gases and dust. APRs provide clean, fresh air by using hoods, masks, or mouthpieces that use filtration to remove pollutants.

You can check out a variety of protective air-purifying respirators and a complete gas mask kit on A face-protecting respirator, also known as an air purifier, is worn around your face. It usually includes a face mask and two cartridges with breathable air. There are two types: the negative pressure respirator or the positive pressure respirator.

A negative pressure respirator uses either chemical or mechanical filters. A positive pressure respirator uses positive air pressure generated by a fan to force incoming air through filters within the user's mask. There are three types available of negative pressure APRs:

Particulate respirators can be used to filter dust and fumes. These respirators cannot be re-used. They can't be used if they are damaged or wet.

Combination respirators can be used when there are both particulate, gas, or vapors. The single-type cartridge is attached to a full-face or half-face mask. A combination respirator is needed in an environment with particulates or gas.

The gas and vapor respirators protect the user against harmful gases and vapors. A half- or full-mask is worn by the user with a cartridge for a respirator. Particulates are not protected by vapor and gas respirators.