Use of Respirators

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Respirators 

When engineering controls are not sufficient to reduce the concentration of air contaminants below an acceptable level, respirators may be required. Revisions to the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard (29 CFR 1910.134) became effective on April 8, 1998.  Respirators protect the user in two basic ways. The first is by the removal of contaminants from the air. Respirators of this type include particulate respirators, which filter out airborne particles; and “gas masks” which filter out chemicals and gases. Other respirators protect by supplying clean respirable air from another source. Respirators that fall into this category include airline respirators, which use compressed air from a remote source; and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), which include their own air supply.  

  • Respirators are the last choice for protection of employees from solvents, only after other possible methods are found not feasible.
  • The type of respirator needed depends on the toxicity and amount of solvent vapor in the air.
  • Paper masks do not protect against solvents – the vapors go right through them. These are only good for dust.