Powered air purifying respirator PAPRs

In the area of filtering respiratory protection, the powered air purifying respirator constitutes the highest level of personal protection. It is a positive pressure device unlike conventional half masks and gas masks. The respiratory effort is not made by the PAPR user but by a motor sending a constant filtered air flow in the face piece (mask or hood).

Use of a powered air purifying respirator mask is recommended for difficult, tiring or long-duration work. In addition, the overpressure generated in a PAPR mask guarantees a high nominal protection factor (40 times the OEL) - much higher than conventional gas masks.

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What is a powered air purifying respirator

A powered air purifying respirator is composed of 3 elements:

A ventilation system: the motor is usually belt-mounted on the back in order not to disturb the user thanks to its light weight. Purified air goes through a flexible PAPR airtight corrugated hose.

Respiratory protective filters: PAPR respirator cartridges are placed in front of the motor that injects clean air into the facepiece. Every respirator filter type is compatible: VOC filter, particle filter, gas filter and combined filter.

A facepiece: one of the many advantages of a PAPR respirator is the diversity and the large range of compatible facepieces in order to respond any request: hood, panoramic mask or half mask.

PAPR respirator operation

Powered air purifying respirators - also known as PAPR or PAPR respirator - are positive pressure respiratory protective equipment. The breathing effort is reduced or even removed as a motored ventilation system provides purified air directly into a facepiece through a corrugated hose. The main asset of these devices is the reduction of the breathing effort. Thus they are particularly well suited for long term or demanding works.

Powered air purifying respirators are able to filter up to 40 times the OEL (occupational exposure limit of a pollutant). However – as for any air purifying device – they can only operate properly if the oxygen rate in ambient air exceeds 19.5%.

Powered air purifying masks and hoods

In addition to the ease and comfort of use provided by the breathing effort reduction, powered air purifying respirators can be equipped with a wide range of adapted facepieces according to the application and the field of activities:

PAPR mask

PAPR masks shall be selected if the pollutant concentration exceeds 40 times its OEL (occupational exposure limit upon 8 hours). Air is directly injected into the powered air purifying mask closed to the breathing tracts, which avoids dry eyes.

PAPR hood

PAPR hoods are composed of soft materials that are resistant to some corrosive gases. They cover the entire head and feature a large field of view. PAPR respirator hoods also feature an air distribution unit for enhanced comfort and are available in many versions (with or without helmet, welding version…).