What Does APF for Respirators Mean?

A Respirator’s protectiveness is ranked according to specific factors. The respirator’s ability to protect the wearer from airborne particles is judged by assigning it an Assigned Protection Factor or APF. But what does it mean? Find out below.

What is a respirator APF?

The APF is the multiple of the outside concentration of a hazardous substance that would be present without respiratory protection. To put it another way, The Assigned Protection Factor (APF) is the degree of respiratory protection that a respirator or class of respirators is intended to offer to employees when the employer conducts a continuous, effective respiratory protection program.

What does an APF of 1000 mean?

In order to get an APF of 1,000, the respirator manufacturer must present the employer with proof that their products have been tested to a level of protection of at least 1,000. The easiest way to show this level of performance is to conduct a WPF or SWPF study or a comparable exam.

What is the APF of an N95 respirator?

Both the surgical N95 and the N95 respirator have an assigned protection factor (APF) of 10 and are filtering facepiece respirators.

What does APF 50 mean?

Full-face masks with an APF of 50 would decrease exposure to 0.4 ug/m3 when correctly fitted.

Is an APF of 10 good?

Only 10% of the pollutants that the worker is exposed to are allowed to flow into the mask, which has a protection factor of 10.

Related Questions and Answers

Which respirator has the highest protection factor?

In terms of air-purifying respirators, PAPRs with a tight-fitting headpiece and class TM3 provide maximum protection.

What does the protection factor indicate?

A respirator’s assigned protection factor (APF) measures the degree of protection it can give if used appropriately and by the intended recipient.

What is the highest efficiency particulate air filter cartridge per NIOSH?

95, 99, and 99.97 percent filter efficiency are the three degrees of filter efficiency. Regarding filter efficiency deterioration, N, R, and P are the three kinds of resistance.

What is the protection factor for a full-face respirator?

At 50 mm, the APF is equivalent to using a 100-class filter. To avoid using APF of 25, the manufacturer must show an APF of 1000. For asbestos exposure, use a four-piece full-face PAPR with HE filters.

Is N95 dust mask APF 10?

A correctly utilized N95 respirator has an APF of 10, which means it may be used safely in an environment with a dangerous concentration up to 10 times the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL).

What is better FFP1 or FFP3?

When it comes to overall protection, an FFP3 is superior to the other two options. All three FFPs have an Assigned Protection Factor (APF) between 4 and 20.

How do I choose between full-face and half-face respirators?

This video should help clarify:

What are the factors that can affect the seal of a respirator?

Factors that alter the seal between the respirator and the facepiece include a mustache, bone structure of the face, dentures, scars on the face, eyeglasses, or over-the-top cosmetics.


Make sure the APF of the respirator you wear matches the circumstances present in your workplace. Do not wear a respirator that does not meet the safety threats you may face.

NEXT UP: What Are CBRN Threat Vectors?

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Rebecca Ross
About Rebecca Ross

Rebecca Ross an Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) consultant who runs her own occupational safety consultancy. She focuses on hazardous materials, warehouse safety, fire safety, lab safety, fall protection, head protection and other workplace safety topics. Learn more about Rebecca here or connect with her on Twitter | LinkedIn | Medium