Breathing respirators are manufactured for all types of people, not just for people in the work force. Many people who have asthma, or some sort of dust allergy can be seen wearing them. These dust respirators come in many different types; some of which just help filter the dust particles and other annoyances away from your lungs. Other types of these face respirators have a small yellow button in the center, to help filter such things as smoke or even a certain percentage of fumes.
Where ever employees could come in contact with hazardous fumes or gases OSHA (Occupational and Safety Hazard Administration) has regulated what types of respirator a person should wear. Many welders will have to use a half mask plastic respirator, which has a rechargeable filter on both sides of the nose, which should be changed regularly. Painters, or people who need full eye and lung protection have to wear a full face breathing respirator, which cover all of one’s face.
As the leading manufacturer of respirators, 3M offers both supplied air respirators, as well as a powered air purifying respirators. The Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR) uses a motorized system that filter the bad air before it reaches a person’s lungs. This type of system includes a headpiece with a breathing tube, and a battery-powered blower. You can even obtain a High efficiency type of headgear that comes with its own hard hat. The supplied air respirators operate from a high-pressure air system, low-pressure pumps or even from bottled air, such as scuba divers, or fire rescue crew’s use. The low-pressure pump type will consist of an airline from the source of air to a small air regulator that is clipped to the belt, and another smaller air tube that goes straight into a full mask, making it easy to breathe only fresh cool air.
3M also has many valve and belt assemblies, as well as extra parts for any and all of their breathing respirators, which make it easy to order the parts, which you may need. It is a very good idea to keep extra valves, parts and other assemblies on hand at all times.
Every employee is responsible for his or her own safety. When your superiors advice you to use these devices, do not just use them until they get out of sight, especially if the respirators are sort of inconvenient to wear. Each company is responsible for your safety, maybe not because they want to be, even though that is not likely the case. There are laws governing these companies that if the company does not apply them the company could get a very high fine, and the company insurance will not cover them. So do yourself a favor and make sure that the company has the proper 3M respirators, and please be sure to wear them.