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CARPET & RESTORATION

Why and when to replace your respirator particulate filter 3M’s Mark Reggers* answers some commonly asked questions about the use of respiratory protection filters.

What guidance is available in selecting the correct respirator and filters? There are two Australian Standards that pertain to respiratory protection. AS/NZS1715 is for the user and is called Selection, Use and Maintenance of Respiratory Protective Devices. The second, AS/NZS1716 provides the information required to assess and test the performance requirements the different types of respiratory protection products must meet.

What types of filters are there? • Particulate filters: Protect only against particles i.e. dust, mists and fumes, aerosols, smoke, mould, bacteria and so on. • Gas and vapour cartridge filters: Protect only against gases and vapours. There are different kinds of gas and vapour cartridge filters for different kinds of gases. • Combination filters: Protect against both particles and gases. Different combination particulate/cartridge filters are used depending on the gas or vapour present in the air.

Why do I need to replace my filters regularly? Particulate filters get clogged up and become harder to breathe through placing an increased physiological burden on the wearer. Gas and vapour cartridge filters start to let contaminant through once their sorbents become saturated. This is known as ‘breakthrough’. It’s important to note that the selection of filters must be carried out by a competent person with a full knowledge of the respiratory hazards in the workplace. 46 INCLEAN May/June 2019

What’s a P1? P2? P3? AS/NZS1716 uses a classification system to identify the different types of particulate filters which are P1, P2 and P3. P1 is an AS/NZS1716 rated particle filter for use with mechanically generated particles. For example; particles formed by crushing, grinding, drilling, sanding, cutting etc including wood dust and silica. P2 is an AS/NZS1716 rated particle filter for use with mechanically and thermally generated particles, for example; those from welding fume. These are also the recommended type for use with certain biological particles in certain applications such as TB or SARS. A P3 filter is the highest efficiency particle filter class and is used for particulates that are of high toxicity or at high concentrations. The benefit of this high efficiency filter can only be achieved on a full facemask or head covering respirator system.

“Selecting the correct filter or cartridge is one part of the equation in achieving respiratory protection. A respirator must be worn 100 per cent of the time to achieve any level of protection.”

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INCLEAN May-June 2019  

Published for more than 25 years, INCLEAN magazine is the only dedicated cleaning and hygiene industry magazine in the Australian and New Ze...

INCLEAN May-June 2019  

Published for more than 25 years, INCLEAN magazine is the only dedicated cleaning and hygiene industry magazine in the Australian and New Ze...