Types of Respirators for Safety at Home

By jessica

When painting your home, safety should always be your number one priority. Walls can be repainted and trim can be cleaned, but compromising your health and the health of those around you is not worth risking.

Aside from ladder safety and eye protection while painting, a respirator is a great idea that will help keep you breathing easier. But, how do you figure out which one to choose? With so many different types of respirators on the market it can be challenging to know which one is appropriate for the job you are doing. The guide below will help debunk the myths about respirators and explain how not all respirators are created equal.

Air-purifying respirators are the most common type of respirator and are widely used for everything from health care uses to painting. They are only good for use when the chemical or particulates have an identifying factor, such as a smell or color. There are three basic types of air-purifying respirators and each has its own air purifying specialty. Choosing the right one for the job will help keep you safe.

Gas and Vapor Removing

These respirators are designed to remove harmful gas and vapors before you inhale them. The respirator mask covers both your nose and your mouth. A small cartridge captures the harmful vapor and gas and locks it in to protect you. These types of masks are most often used while painting, working with chemical paint strippers and varnishes, and while working around fuels. They keep you from getting light headed and dizzy.

Particulate Removing

Small particles from fumes, smoke, dust and debris can cause serious allergic reactions in some people. They can also cause breathing and asthma issues, even if the person who has come in contact with them does not normally have such issues. Particulate removing respirators remove those small particles from the air and prevent them from entering your airway.

Combination Respirators

A combination air-purifying respirator is one that removes both gas and vapor, as well as, particulates from the air. Make sure that there is adequate oxygen flow throughout the room to ensure that you can breathe properly. When in doubt about which type of air-purifying respirator to get, choose a combination one to address any issues that may arise.

The other type of respirator is known as a supplied-air respirator. It comes complete with its own oxygen source and is most widely used by firefighters and hazardous material clean-up crews. When the chemical does not have a clear identifying factor, or there is a lack of oxygen in the air, a supplied-air respirator is the best choice.

When painting, the right type of respirator will help you complete the job without a resulting headache. Although it may seem unnecessary, wearing a respirator, particularly when working with highly noxious paint or paint remover fumes, is the safest option. When in doubt about which type of respirator is right for your job, consult with a professional at a local paint or home improvement store.

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