Are All Types of Respirators the Same?

Upon first inspection, it may seem as if all respirators offer the same protection. However, this is not true. In this post, we clarify the differences between respirator types and provide information on which ones are more suited to certain applications.

Are all types of OSHA respirators the same?

No, respirators come in many different types and each type is designed for a specific purpose. For example, some respirators are designed to protect the wearer from exposure to airborne particles, while others are designed to filter out chemicals or other hazardous materials. Some respirators are even specifically designed to provide both protection and comfort.

It is possible to protect oneself with a variety of respirators. The Assigned Protection Factor (APF) is a measure of a respirator’s capacity to protect its wearer. OSHA has given a number to each kind of respirator.

What are the types of respirators?

Air-purifying respirators (APRs) and atmosphere-supplying respirators (ASRs) are the two primary forms of respiratory protection (ASRs). As a result of the design of each respirator, it gives a distinct amount of protection. Because of this, it is critical to choose the appropriate respirator for the given situation.

Replacement cartridges or filters may be purchased for half-facepiece respirators. There are a variety of accessories available for the Elastomeric Full Facepiece Respirators, including reusable canisters, cartridges, and filters.

Are all respirators the same size?

No. For instance, the 3M 6800 series full face respirators are designed to protect the delicate membranes of the eyes, nose, throat, and mouth. They are available in three sizes: Small, Medium, and Large. However, except for the rubber seal attached to the product, the three masks are nearly identical in size.

Do all respirators require fit testing?

Is it necessary to have fit tests performed? Yes. Prior to utilizing a respirator that creates a tight seal on your face, OSHA (29 CFR 1910.134) mandates that workers be fit tested for fit before putting them to use.

How do I choose a respirator?

The first step is to identify the danger. In the second step, determine whether respiratory protection is required for your employees. Then, choose a respirator that meets these safety requirements.

Related Questions and Answers

Which type of respirator provides the highest level of respiratory protection?

It is better to use full-face respirators than half-face respirators. The majority of vapors, acid gases, dust, and welding fumes can be kept at bay with the use of these goggles.

Is a respirator better than an N95?

Small airborne particles are well-protected by the filters in a respirator. In comparison to the N95 or surgical masks, respirators provide superior protection. However, N95 masks provide better protection against bigger particles while causing less pain.

What is higher than N95?

Both the N95 and N99 masks have a lot in common. It is regulated by a strict set of professional and government norms. Non-oil airborne particles have been proved to be 99 percent eliminated by the N99.

What is the difference between N95 and P100?

An N95 face mask keeps out at least 95% of particles, but it is not oil resistant. A P100 face mask is oil proof and protects the user from at least 99.8% of particles, but it is also not oil resistant.

How do I know what size N95 I need?

For those with smaller faces, the N95 Small is a somewhat smaller, more tailored version of the normal N95 M/L respirator. With a soft measuring tape, measure from the center of the bridge of your nose down to the bottom of your chin.

Can you use someone else’s respirator?

It’s not going to protect you against gases, vapors, or extremely tiny solid particles of smoke or fumes when you use a respirator intended to filter out dust particles. In order to avoid accidentally using someone else’s respirator, it is important to keep track of your own.

What respirators do not require fit testing?

Fit testing is not required for loose-fitting respirators. All tight-fitting respirators, supplied air and air-purifying, must be tested for fit before they may be used.

Can anyone perform a respirator fit test?

Performing the fit test process does not need any specific qualification. Nevertheless, the person must be able to prepare the test solutions, calibrate the equipment, and conduct the tests correctly, as well as detect invalid tests and guarantee that the test equipment is in good working condition

What are the different types of respirators?

This video has the information you need:

Does N95 stop mold?

N95 masks keep you from inhaling tiny airborne particles like dust and mold, which may be harmful to your health. At least 95% of the dust and mold in the air will be removed by this filter.

Is it possible to use a respirator if you have any facial hair or wear glasses?

No respirators should be used if circumstances impede a satisfactory facial seal, as stated in [29 CFR 1910.134(g)(1)(i)]. Some examples of these are a beard, sideburns, a skull cap, or temple pieces on spectacles.

Are all N95 respirators the same?

The N95 is not a one-size-fits-all product. Surgical and industrial N95s are two of the most common forms of N95s. It is important to note that both surgical and industrial N95 respirators provide a variety of protective options.

What kind of respirator do I need for polyurethane?

Spraying polyurethane foam on a building’s exterior? Consider using an air-purifying respirator (APR) or a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR). SARs, or supplied air respirators, are often seen in indoor settings.

Is a respirator good for Covid?

The virus that causes COVID-19 may be prevented by using masks and respirators frequently and appropriately. In terms of protection, certain masks and respirators are more effective than others, and some are more difficult to wear or endure than others.

What kind of respirators are used for short-term emergency use?

Respirators used by firefighters include the SCBA (Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus). These do not need filters since they utilize their own air tank to provide clean air.

What is the difference between SAR and APR?

The combination of both gas and particle dangers may be mitigated using APRs equipped with particulate filters and gas/vapor cartridges. Airline respirators, SCBAs, and combination (supplied-air) respirators are all examples of supplied-air respirators, which are also known as SARs.

What is the difference between negative and positive pressure respirators?

Negative-pressure airflow is prevented by positive-pressure respirators, which provide more protection than other kinds of respiratory protection.

What’s the difference between a mask and a respirator?

Protection from airborne particles is provided by respirators. Biological aerosols, such as viruses and bacteria, are kept at a minimum in hospitals by using masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE). Body fluid splashes, drops, and sprays are all prevented by surgical masks. Protects the wearer’s respiratory emissions from the patient.

Can avoid COVID-19 without a medical mask?

If you do not have symptoms but are in a location where COVID-19 is prevalent and where professionals such as social workers, cashiers, waiters, and the like are unable to keep a safe distance from each other, you should consider wearing a non-medical mask.


There are many types of breathing masks and respirators available, with each offering unique protection against dangerous gases and particles. Make sure to only wear the respirator that offers the protection you need.

What are the 3 types of air-purifying respirators?” is a question that has been asked many times. There are three types of air-purifying respirators, which include the half mask, full face, and powered air purifying respirator.

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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