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Respiratory Protection Program


TMCC Policy Statement

The TMCC Environmental, Health, and Safety Office’s (EH&S) mission is to support the Colleges teaching and service functions. EH&S assists organizational units in meeting their responsibility to protect the environment and to provide a safe and healthful place of employment and learning. This program has been developed in accordance with 29CFR 1910.134 (Respiratory Protection).

Purpose & Scope

The purpose of the Respiratory Protection Program is to protect employees against harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays, bioaerosols, and vapors, through the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). If effective engineering or administrative controls are not feasible, respirators shall be provided by the University when such equipment is necessary to protect the health of the employee.

This program will be implemented to ensure there are specific practices and procedures in place to safeguard employees who, during their normal duties, are or could be, exposed to hazardous airborne contaminants.

Respiratory protective equipment is required for work in environments with radioactive or chemical exposure levels exceed acceptable limits, when a risk assessment determines that airborne exposure to infectious agents is likely, and during some emergency response situations such as clean-up of some hazardous materials spills. Respiratory protective equipment may also be required for work in confined spaces or for short-term projects where engineering controls are not practical.

Roles and Responsibilities

Each department that requires, is required to use, or has voluntary use of respirators, is responsible for implementing the respiratory protection program. Each department is responsible for scheduling department employees for annual fit-testing and medical evaluation as needed.

Supervisors, Managers, Department Leads are responsible for:

  • Requesting assistance from the Environmental Health & Safety Department (EH&S) in evaluating new or non-routine operations that may present respiratory health and safety hazards.
  • Notifying EH&S of the need for the use of respiratory protective equipment, including any voluntary use of respiratory protection.
  • Identifying, with the assistance of the Environmental Health & Safety Department, those employees who may need respiratory protective equipment.
  • Ensuring that all employees who will use respiratory equipment complete the Medical Questionnaire and are scheduled for and complete any required medical evaluations.
  • Obtaining assistance of the Environmental Health & Safety Department in selecting appropriate respiratory protection devices before they are purchased, and
  • Enforcing the use of respiratory protective equipment when required by regulations or other requirements, as outlined in the standard operating procedures of this program.

Employees are responsible for:

  • Utilizing issued respiratory protection in accordance with instructions and training provided by EH&S and in accordance with the standard operating procedures of this program.
  • Notifying supervisors and/or EH&S of any voluntary use of respiratory protection.
  • Completing the Medical Questionnaire accurately and submitting it to an approved on-line evaluation physician service or to a qualified physician or other licensed health care professional (PLHCP).
  • Attending training and receiving fit-testing on an annual basis.
  • Informing supervisor of any personal health problems that may arise which could be aggravated by the use of respiratory protective equipment.
  • Preventing damage to respirators insuring that respirators are not modified or altered in any way and reporting any observed or suspected malfunctioning respirator to the supervisor.
  • Maintaining the respirator according to manufacturers recommendations, training, and regulatory guidance including:
    • Using only specific respiratory protective devices for which they have received training and fit testing.
    • Checking the respirator for good fit before each use.
    • Recognizing indications that cartridges and/or filters are at the end of their service life.
    • Cleaning and sanitizing reusable respirators after use.
    • Storing the respirator in a protected location, and
    • Discarding disposable respirator as directed.
  • Notifying supervisors and EH&S when they have a condition that may interfere with face-piece sealing such as:
    • A weight change of 20 lbs. or more
    • Significant facial scarring in the area of the face piece seal.
    • Significant dental changes, i.e., multiple extractions without prosthesis, or dentures.
    • Reconstructive or cosmetic surgery.

The Environmental, Health, and & Safety Office (EH&S) shall have overall responsibility for the management, support, and implementation of the TMCC Respiratory Protection Program. EH&S responsibilities are:

  • Determining individuals and associated operations which may require respirator usage.
  • Aiding in reviewing purchases of respiratory protective equipment when requested.
  • Providing instruction and training on respirator selection criteria, fit testing, use and maintenance.
  • Conducting / assist in obtaining fit tests for employees who utilize respiratory protective equipment.
  • Notifying the employee's supervisor of any required referrals for medical evaluation.
  • Maintaining medical clearance, training, and fit testing records.
  • Providing consulting services for respiratory protection matters.

Medical Evaluations

Some level of medical evaluation is required for respirator use. Requirements are:

Medical Questionnaire: Each employee who is required to wear a respirator must complete a medical questionnaire. There are two approved ways to complete the questionnaire; either go to a doctor and have them complete the medical questionnaire that is attached in Appendix D or complete the online 3M questionnaire.

Medical Clearance: Any employee who uses respiratory equipment must receive a signed medical clearance from a licensed physician or other licensed health care professional before being fitted for, and issued a respirator. The medical clearance shall be updated in accordance with the following criteria:

  • If the employee reports medical signs or symptoms that are related to the ability to use a respirator.
  • If the designated medical professional, supervisor or respirator program supervisor informs the department that the employee needs to be reevaluated.
  • If information from the respiratory protection program, including observations made during fit testing or program evaluation indicates the need for reevaluation.
  • If a change occurs in workplace conditions that may result in a substantial increase in the physiological burden placed upon the employee.

Medical Examinations: Medical examinations are required for the following persons:

  • Employees who work or may potentially work with asbestos containing materials.
  • Individuals whose Medical Questionnaire evaluation indicates that examination by a physician is required.
  • Individuals who have a known health problem that could be aggravated by the use of respiratory protective equipment.
  • Individuals who the designated medical professional has determined require a medical examination for any reason before assignment to activities requiring the use of respiratory protective equipment.

Education and Training

The Environmental Health & Safety Department shall provide instruction on:

  • Why the respirator is necessary and how improper fit, usage, or maintenance can compromise the protective effect of the respirator.
  • What the limitations and capabilities of the respirator are.
  • How to use the respirator effectively in emergency situations, including situations in which the respirator malfunctions.
  • How to inspect, put on and remove the respirator.
  • How to perform seal checks of the respirator
  • Procedures for maintenance and storage of the respirator.
  • How to recognize medical signs and symptoms that may limit or prevent the effective use of the respirator.
  • General requirements of the OSHA Respiratory Protection standard.

Respirator Selection and Use

Proper selection and use of a respirator are critical to avoid impairment to an individual's health, including certain delayed lung diseases such as silicosis, pneumoconiosis, or asbestosis.

Respirator Selection: Select the proper type of respirator using the Respiratory Equipment Selection Guides in Appendices A and B.

Respirator Use: N95 respirators and air purifying respirators (the respirator type most commonly used at TMCC) are not designed to be used in an atmosphere:

  • That is immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH).
  • From which escape cannot occur without the aid of the respiratory equipment.
  • Containing less than 19.5% oxygen.
  • With unknown contaminants.

Under such conditions, air supplied respiratory protective equipment or self-contained breathing apparatus is required. DO NOT ENTER IF ANY OF THESE CONDITIONS ARE PRESENT.

Do not wear a respirator if you have:

  • Not completed the Medical Questionnaire and obtained written medical clearance from the designated physician.
  • Not been trained by an Environmental Health & Safety Representative in the use of the respirator.
  • Not successfully completed initial fit testing.
  • Gone more than 12 months since your last fit test.
  • Facial hair that comes between the sealing surface of the facepiece and the face or that interferes with valve function.

DO NOT modify or alter your respirator in any manner, unless specified in the instruction manual:

  • Use only MSHA/NIOSH or NIOSH approved components and replacement parts for your specific respirator. Failure to use MSHA/NIOSH or NIOSH components and replacement parts VOIDS the MSHA/NIOSH or NIOSH approval of the entire respirator, invalidates all manufacturers' warranties, and may result in lung disease or exposure to other hazardous or life-threatening conditions.

Inspect all components of your respirator system before use for signs of damage or wear that may reduce the protection provided:

  • Immediately replace any worn or damaged components with MSHA/NIOSH or NIOSH approved components or remove the respirator from service. See the MAINTENANCE section for proper directions for inspecting, cleaning, and storing your respirator.

Respirator User Seal Checks: For all tight-fitting respirators, the user shall perform user seal checks according to the following directions:

  • Negative Pressure User Seal Check:
    • This test must be performed before each use and should be performed periodically during use.
    • This test is performed by closing off the inlets of the canister, cartridges or filters by covering with the palms of the hands, by placing seals over the canister or cartridge inlets, or by squeezing breathing tubes so that air cannot pass. Inhale gently so the face piece collapses slightly and hold breath for ten seconds. If the face piece remains slightly collapsed and inward leakage is not detected, the respirator is assumed tight and the exhalation valve and face piece are not leaking.
  • Positive Pressure User Seal Check:
    • This test must be performed before each use and should be performed periodically during use.
    • This test is performed by closing off the exhalation valve and exhaling gently into the face piece. The fit is considered satisfactory if a slight positive pressure can be built up inside the face piece without any evidence of outward leakage. For some respirators, the exhalation valve cover must be removed. Carefully replace it after the test.

Respiratory Equipment

This section contains operating instructions and limitations for respiratory equipment that may be used at TMCC. The following use limitations apply to all use of respiratory protective devices used at TMCC:

  • Facial hair that interferes with face to mask fit shall not be permitted.
  • The Medical Questionnaire must be completed.
  • Written medical clearance from a designated physician must be obtained.
  • Training and fit testing must be successfully completed prior to use and annually thereafter.
  • If an employee exhibits/experiences difficulty in breathing (that is unrelated to respirator function) during testing or use, he/she shall be referred to a physician to determine fitness to use such equipment while performing assigned duties.
  • Not everyone can wear respirators. Individual with impaired lung function, due to asthma or emphysema for example, may be physically unable to wear a respirator. Individuals who cannot get a good face piece fit, including those individuals whose beards or sideburns interfere with the face piece seal, will be unable to wear tight fitting respirators.
  • Respirators may also present communication problems, vision problems, fatigue and reduced work efficiency. Nonetheless, it is sometimes necessary to use respiratory protection as the means of control.

Filtering Face-pieces (N95 respirators)

Availability and types for use: Half mask respirators are the most widely used types of respirators; several brands and sizes are available on the market to assure employee comfort and a satisfactory fit. Various types of filters, chemical cartridges and combination filter cartridges are available for employee protection.

Limitations: N95 respirators provide no protection against gases, vapors or toxic contaminants. They will not protect the user in atmospheres containing oil aerosols. Since they supply no oxygen, they cannot be used in oxygen deficient atmospheres. These masks must not be used for work involving hazardous particulates such as asbestos.

Procedures: When a N95 respirators is required for a job situation, the user should:

  • Put on the N95 respirators and adjust it for proper fit. Some masks have adjustable face sealing areas.
  • Discard an N95 respirator upon observation of damaged or missing parts, if the mask becomes contaminated with dust or fluids and/or if excessive clogging of the respirator causes breathing difficulty. If the N95 respirator has a replaceable dust filter, replace the dust filter with a new one when normal breathing becomes difficult.

Air-Purifying Half Mask Respirators

Availability and types for use: Half mask respirators are the most widely used types of respirators; several brands and sizes are available on the market to assure employee comfort and a satisfactory fit. Various types of filters, chemical cartridges and combination filter cartridges are available for employee protection.

Limitations: Since this type of respirator does not supply air, it cannot be used in oxygen deficient atmospheres, in IDLH atmospheres or in untested confined spaces. It can only be used for protection against the contaminants and the concentration limits listed on the cartridge. The wearer should leave an area immediately if gas/vapor is smelled inside the mask or if breathing resistance increases.

An air purifying respirator should not be used for contaminants which do not display adequate odor or other warning properties without implementation of a cartridge change- out schedule that is based on the specific air contaminants and expected exposure. Cartridges shall be changed in accordance with the chemical break-through information contained in Appendix B. A half mask respirator shall not be worn when facial hair extends under the face mask sealing area.

Procedures: To put on and adjust the half mask respirator:

To put on and adjust the half mask respirator:

  • Hold the mask so the narrow nose cup points upward.
  • Grasp both lower mask straps and hook them behind the neck, allowing the chin to fit in first.
  • Grasp both top straps and hook them behind the head and above the ears, making sure of a proper fit on the nose.
  • Adjust the straps so the fit is snug but comfortable by pulling both straps simultaneously to the rear and not outward.
  • Check for leaks by performing a qualitative negative/positive pressure user seal check. (See qualitative fit testing section.)
  • Each user of respiratory protective equipment must inspect, clean, and maintain the respirator after each use. Any parts showing wear must be replaced at this time with parts approved for the specific respirator.

Air-Purifying Full Face Mask Respirators

Availability and types for use: Full face mask respirators provide more protection than half masks because their shape allows a better mask-to-face seal. They also protect the eyes from irritating chemicals or particulate atmospheres. Full face masks may be equipped with the various types of air purifying filters, chemical cartridges, combination filter cartridges, chin canisters and gas mask canisters depending upon the protection required.

Limitations: Air purifying full face mask respirators has the same limitations as air purifying half mask respirators. Additionally, standard eye glasses interfere with the mask to face seal; therefore contact your supervisor and/or the Environmental Health & Safety Department for more information on obtaining proper eyeglasses inserts.

Procedures: To put on a full face mask:

  • Loosen all straps, pull the harness over the head, and place the chin in the chin cup.
  • Pull the head harness well down on the back of the head.
  • Tighten the harness gently, starting with the bottom straps and then the middle and top straps.
  • Check for leaks by performing a qualitative negative/positive pressure user seal check. (See qualitative fit testing section.)
  • Each user of respiratory protective equipment must inspect, clean, and maintain the respirator after each use. Any parts showing wear must be replaced at this time with parts approved for the specific respirator.

Other Respirators: Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPR), Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), and Airline (Supplied Air) Respirators are not used on TMCC campus.

Maintenance and Care of Respirators

The primary responsibility for maintaining the respirator in proper and clean condition rests with the employee. Minor repair and/or adjustment may be made on the spot; major repairs require removing respirator from service.

Inspection for defects: Examine the face piece for:

  • Excessive dirt
  • Cracks, tears, holes, or physical distortion of shape
  • Inflexibility of the face piece
  • Cracked or badly scratched lenses in full face pieces
  • Missing mounting clips, badly worn threads or missing gaskets, if required.

Examine the head straps or head harness for:

  • Breaks
  • Loss of elasticity
  • Broken or malfunctioning buckles in attachments
  • Excessive wear on attachments
  • Excessive wear on head harness which might permit slippage

Examine the exhalation valve for the following after removing its cover:

  • Foreign material such as detergent residue, dust, or human hair
  • Cracks, tears, pinholes, or distortions in the valve material
  • Improper insertion of valve body in face piece
  • Missing or defective valve cover
  • Improper installation of valve in the valve body

Examine the air purifying element for:

  • Correct cartridge, canister, or filter for the hazard.
  • Incorrect installation, loose connections, missing or worn gasket or cross threading in the holder
  • Expired shelf life date on the cartridge or canister
  • Cracks or dents in the outside case of the filter, cartridge, or canister

If the device has a corrugated breathing tube, examine it for:

  • Broken or missing end connectors
  • Missing or loose hose clamps
  • Deterioration, determined by stressing the tube and looking for cracks

Examine the harness of the front or back mounted gas mask for:

  • Damage or wear to the canister holder
  • Broken harness straps for fastening

Cleaning: Respirators, whether used routinely or for emergencies, must be cleaned and disinfected by the employee on a regular basis. As a minimum, respirator cleaning should take place on a weekly basis following use, and more frequently as conditions of use warrant: 

  • Remove filters, cartridges, or canisters
  • Disassemble face pieces by removing speaking diaphragms, valve assemblies, hoses, or other components
  • Wash components in warm (110° F maximum) water with a mild detergent or with a cleaner recommended by the manufacturer
  • A stiff bristle (not wire) brush may be used to facilitate the removal of dirt
  • Rinse components thoroughly in clean, warm, preferably running water. Drain. It is important to thoroughly rinse because detergents that dry on face pieces may result in dermatitis or may cause deterioration of rubber if not completely removed
  • Components should be hand-dried with a clean lint-free cloth or air-dried in a clean place free from contamination
  • Reassemble the face piece and place the respirator in a sealed container for storage

Storage: Respirators shall be stored to protect against dust, sunlight, heat, extreme cold, excessive moisture or damaging chemicals:

  • Respirators must be placed in sealed plastic bags or other suitable containers and stored in a location that prevents damage and/or contamination
  • Respirators should be packed or stored so that the face piece and exhalation valve will rest in a normal position and function will not be impaired by either of these setting in an abnormal position

Quantitative Fit Testing Procedures

Quantitative fit testing must be repeated at least annually. Quantitative Fitting is conducted with a certified industrial hygienist and carried out per the OSHA standard. A copy of the fit test record will be printed and signed by both the test subject and the qualified individual conducting the fit test. The individual should take this form to their supervisor as documentation of completing the fit testing. In addition, quantitative fit testing shall be repeated immediately if the test subject has:

  • A weight change of 20 lbs. or more
  • Significant facial scarring in the area of the face piece seal
  • Significant dental changes, i.e., multiple extractions without prosthesis, or dentures
  • Reconstructive or cosmetic surgery; or
  • Any other condition that may interfere with face piece sealing

Negative Pressure User Seal Check: This test must be performed before each use and should be performed periodically during use:

  • This test is performed by closing off the inlets of the canister, cartridges or filters by covering with the palms of the hands, by placing seals over the canister or cartridge inlets, or by squeezing breathing tubes so that air cannot pass. Inhale gently so the face piece collapses slightly and hold breath for ten seconds. If the face piece remains slightly collapsed and inward leakage is not detected, the respirator is assumed tight and the exhalation valve and face piece are not leaking.

Positive Pressure User Seal Check: This test must be performed before each use and should be performed periodically during use:

  • This test is performed by closing off the exhalation valve and exhaling gently into the face piece. The fit is considered satisfactory if a slight positive pressure can be built up inside the face piece without any evidence of outward leakage. For some respirators, the exhalation valve cover must be removed. Carefully replace it after the test.

Qualitative Fit Test Requirements

Qualitative fit testing is limited to protection factors of 10 (i.e. ten times the PEL). Although full face respirators and PAPRs may be able to provide greater protection, protection factors can only be verified to a maximum of 10 when using qualitative fit testing.

Qualitative fit testing must be repeated at least annually. In addition, qualitative fit testing shall be repeated immediately if the test subject has:

  • A weight change of 20 lbs. or more
  • Significant facial scarring in the area of the face piece seal
  • Significant dental changes, i.e., multiple extractions without prosthesis, or dentures
  • Reconstructive or cosmetic surgery
  • Or any other condition that may interfere with face piece seal

The test subject shall be shown how to put on a respirator, proper positioning on the face, and how to set strap tension. Respirator straps should not be over tightened for testing and should be adjusted by the wearer to give a reasonably comfortable fit typical of normal use.

The test subject shall conduct negative and positive pressure user seal checks until an acceptable fit is obtained with the selected respirator.

Prior to performing a qualitative fit test, the test subject shall be given complete instructions regarding the test procedures and shall wear the face piece for at least five minutes.

The Industrial Hygienist performing the test will provide instructions and for specific agreed upon procedure.

Recordkeeping

The Environmental Health & Safety Department will maintain the following records:

  • Training records
  • Physicians written medical clearance
  • Testing records

Glossary

Aerosol
A system consisting of particles, solid or liquid, suspended in air.
Air-purifying respirator
A respirator that supplies the respirator user with breathing air from a source independent of the ambient atmosphere and includes supplied-air respirators (SARs) and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units.
Assigned protection factor (APF)
The workplace level of respiratory protection that a respirator or class of respirators is expected to provide.
Atmosphere-supplying respirator
A respirator that supplies the respirator user with breathing air from a source independent of the ambient atmosphere and includes supplied-air respirators (SARs) and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units.
Canister (Air Purifying)
A container filled with sorbents and catalysts that remove gases and vapors from air drawn through the unit. Usually connected to the facepiece with a hose. The canister may also contain an aerosol (particulate) filter to remove particulates.
Cartridge
A small container filled with air-purifying media, attached directly to the respirator facepiece that is designed to remove gases, vapors and/or particulates.
Contaminant
A harmful, irritating or nuisance material that is foreign to the normal atmosphere.
Demand respirator
An atmosphere-supplying respirator that admits breathing air to the facepiece only when a negative pressure is created inside the facepiece by inhalation.
Emergency situation
Exposure to a concentration of an airborne contaminant that would occur if the employee were not using respiratory protection.
End-of-service-life indicator (ESLI)
A system that warns the respirator user of the approach of the end of adequate respiratory protection, for example, that the sorbent is approaching saturation or is no longer effective.
Escape-only respirator
A respirator intended to be used only for emergency exit.
Exhalation Valve
A one-way device that permits exhaled air to be discharged from the respirator facepiece.
Facepiece
That portion of a respirator that covers the wearer's nose, mouth and possibly eyes. It is designed to make a gas-tight or dust-tight fit with the face and includes the headbands, exhalation valve(s) and connections for an air-purifying device.
Filter
A fibrous medium used in respirators to remove solid or liquid particles from the airstream entering the respiratory enclosure. There are now three particulate filter series available for air purifying respirators;
  • N100, N99 and N95 filters (99.97%, 99% and 95% efficient non-oil filters) to be used with any solid non-oil containing particulate.
  • R100, R99 and R95 filters (99.97%, 99% and 95% efficient oil resistant filters) to be used for any particulate contaminant. If used for an oil containing contaminant, filter use is limited to one work shift only.
  • P100, P99 and P95 filters (99.97%, 99% and 95% efficient oil proof filters) to be used for any particulate contaminant.
Filtering Facepiece (Dustmask)
A negative pressure particulate respirator with a filter (N95) as an integral part of the facepiece or with the entire facepiece composed of the filtering medium.
Fit factor
A quantitative estimate of respirator fit which typically estimates the ratio of the concentration of a substance in ambient air to its concentration inside the respirator when worn.
Fit test
The use of a protocol to qualitatively or quantitatively evaluate the fit of a respirator on an individual.
High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter
A filter that is at least 99.97% efficient in removing monodispersed particles of 0.3 micrometers in diameter. The equivalent NIOSH 42 CFR 84 particulate filters are the N100, R100, and P100 filters.
Hood
A respiratory inlet covering that completely covers the head and neck and may also cover portions of the shoulders and torso.
Immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH)
An atmosphere immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH). An IDLH atmosphere poses an immediate hazard to life, such as an oxygen deficient atmosphere (containing less than 19.5 percent oxygen), contains explosive or flammable atmospheres, and/or concentrations of toxic substances or produces an irreversible debilitating effect on health.
Inhalation Valve
A one-way device that allows purified air to enter the facepiece.
Loose-fitting facepiece
A respiratory inlet covering that is designed to form a partial seal with the face.
Lower Explosive Limit (LEL)
The lower limit of flammability of a gas or vapor at ordinary ambient temperatures expressed by a percentage of the gas or vapor in air by volume.
Maximum use concentration (MUC)
The maximum atmospheric concentration of a hazardous substance from which an employee can be expected to be protected when wearing a respirator. It is determined by the assigned protection factor of the respirator or class of respirators and the exposure limit of the hazardous substance. The MUC can be determined mathematically by multiplying the assigned protection factor specified for a respirator by the required OSHA permissible exposure limit, short-term exposure limit or ceiling limit.
Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)
A federal agency that, along with NIOSH, tested, approved and certified respiratory protection equipment under the previous 30 CFR Part 11 standard.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
A federal agency that tested, approved and certified respiratory protection equipment along with MSHA under the old 30 CFR Part 11 standard. NIOSH is now the sole source of approval under the new 42 CFR Part 84 standard.
Negative pressure respirator (tight fitting)
A respirator in which the air pressure inside the facepiece is negative during inhalation with respect to the ambient air pressure outside the respirator.
Oxygen deficient atmosphere
An atmosphere with oxygen content below 19.5% by volume.
Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL)
Maximum permitted airborne chemical concentrations established by OSHA, for compliance purposes, under 29 CFR 1910. The limits are normally published as denoting an 8 hour time weighted average (TWA) value but may also be designated with "C" denoting a ceiling value that is not to be exceeded.
Physician or other licensed health care professional (PLHCP)
An individual whose legally permitted scope of practice (i.e., license, registration, or certification) allows him or her to independently provide, or be delegated the responsibility to provide, some or all of the health care services required by paragraph (e) of this section.
Positive pressure respirator
A respirator in which the pressure inside the respiratory inlet covering exceeds the ambient air pressure outside the respirator.
Powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR)
An air-purifying respirator that uses a blower to force the ambient air through air-purifying elements to the inlet covering.
Pressure demand respirator
A positive pressure atmosphere-supplying respirator that admits breathing air to the facepiece when the positive pressure is reduced inside the facepiece by inhalation.
Protection Factor (PF)
The minimum anticipated protection provided by a properly functioning respirator or class of respirators to a given percentage of properly fitted and trained users.
Resistance
Opposition to the flow of air, as through a canister, cartridge or particulate filter.
Respirator
A device designed to protect the wearer from inhalation of harmful atmospheres.
Respiratory inlet covering
That portion of a respirator that forms the protective barrier between the user's respiratory tract and an air-purifying device or breathing air source or both. It may be a facepiece, helmet, hood, suit or a mouthpiece respirator with nose clamp.
Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)
An atmosphere-supplying respirator for which the breathing air source is carried by the user.
Service life
The period of time that a respirator, filter or sorbent, or other respiratory equipment provides adequate protection to the wearer.
Supplied-air respirator (SAR) or airline respirator
An atmosphere-supplying respirator for which the source of breathing air is not carried by the user.
Threshold Limit Value (TLV)
A list published the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) as a recommended guide for exposure concentrations that a healthy individual normally can tolerate for eight hours a day, five days a week over the duration of a normal working career without harmful effects. Airborne particulate concentrations are generally listed as milligrams per cubic meter of air (mg/m³), and gaseous concentrations are listed as parts per million (ppm) by volume.
Tight-fitting facepiece
A respiratory inlet covering that forms a complete seal with the face.
Warning Properties
A given chemical's ability to be smelled, tasted or exhibit irritation effects at airborne concentrations below the PEL or TLV.

Appendix

Respirator Use Questionnaire

Appendix C to CFR 1910.134 requires an OSHA respirator medical evaluation questionnaire for every individual who has been selected to use a respirator. If an employee requests, or works in an area where respirator use is required, contact the EH&S Office for instructions.

Voluntary Respirator Use

Appendix D to CFR 1910.134 supplies mandatory information for employees using respirators when not required by the standard.

Respirators are an effective method of protection against designated hazards when properly selected and worn. Respirator use is encouraged, even when exposures are below the exposure limit, to provide an additional level of comfort and protection for workers. However, if a respirator is used improperly or not kept clean, the respirator itself can become a hazard to the worker. Sometimes, workers may wear respirators to avoid exposures to hazards, even if the amount of hazardous substance does not exceed the limits set by OSHA standards. If your employer provides respirators for your voluntary use, or if you provide your own respirator, you need to take certain precautions to be sure that the respirator itself does not present a hazard.
You should do the following:

  1. Read and heed all instructions provided by the manufacturer on use, maintenance, cleaning and care, and warnings regarding the respirators limitations.
  2. Choose respirators certified for use to protect against the contaminant of concern. NIOSH, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, certifies respirators. A label or statement of certification should appear on the respirator or respirator packaging. It will tell you what the respirator is designed for and how much it will protect you.
  3. Do not wear your respirator into atmospheres containing contaminants for which your respirator is not designed to protect against. For example, a respirator designed to filter dust particles will not protect you against gases, vapors, or very small solid particles of fumes or smoke.