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Frequency Asked Questions
How to select a properly filtering respirator?

A properly selected filtering respirator should allow the user to work efficiently in dusty and strenuous conditions, while at the same time guaranteeing an acceptable price level. The description of each respirator takes into consideration some specific features:
Filtering efficiency. This is specified by means of a standard. All manufacturers are obliged to ensure the following levels of efficiency:

Table 2

FILTRATION
CLASS
MAX CONCENTRATION
OF IMPURITIES
FILTRATION
EFFICIENCY
AEROSOL
TYPE
P1 4 X NDS 80 % dust, smoke, mist
P2 10 X PAC 94 % dust, smoke, mist
P3 20 X PAC 97 % dust, smoke, mist
P1 S 4 X NDS 80 % dust, smoke
P2 S 10 X PAC 94 % dust, smoke
P3 S 20 X PAC 97 % dust, smoke
P2 SL 10 X PAC 98 % mist
P3 SL 30 X PAC 99 % mist

*Respirators of the following classes: P1 S, P2 S, P3 S are tested with the sodium chloride method, whereas classes P2 SL, P3 SL are tested with an oil spray.
2. Typical applications:

  • Respirator class P1 is used in agriculture, the food industry, quarries, cement plants, the building industry, soft woodworking (coniferous), in particular for dusty and smoky environments from such substances as: calcium carbonate, graphite, gypsum, chalk, cement, plaster, marble, zinc oxide, plant pollens, cellulose, sulphur, cotton, filings from ferrous metals, coal dust containing less than 10% of free silica.
  • Respirator class P2 is used in the mining industry, the chemical industry, shipyards, the metallurgical industry, hard woodworking (deciduous), in particular for such dust and smoke from: asbestos, quartz, aluminium, copper, barium, titanium, vanadium, chromium, manganese, coal dust containing more than 10% of free silica.
  • Respirator class P3 is used in welding and soldering processes, with high concentrations of extremely hazardous, microscopic breathable dusts, with compounds containing: beryllium, antimony, arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, nickel, platinum, radium, strychnine.
  • Respirator classes P2 SL, P3 SL are used for engine and turbine repair works, and wherever oil vapour occurs.

3. Dust-holding capacity: Each respirator is characterised by a given inhalation resistance. With time, resistance begins to increase as a result of dust collected in the cup. From the point of view of the user, those respirators are better which will absorb relatively more dust while their inhalation resistance increases to a lesser extent.
4. Exhalation resistance: This depends on the concentration of carbon dioxide and steam between the respirator cup and the face (the so-called dead space). With each exhaling, another measure of carbon dioxide is taken in, which results in a decreased working efficiency. This effect may be reduced by minimising the dead space and employing exhaust valves which speed up the circulation of gases in space.
5. Adjustment to user's face: According to the instructions, the proper placing of the respirator on the face is crucial. When putting on a respirator care must be taken with regard to the proper pressure of the nasal plate and the tight sealing of the surface remaining in contact with the face. Insufficient sealing of the respirator's edge results in increased leakage, and consequently, loss of filtration efficiency. Facial hair in particular causes an insufficient seal.
6. Comfort in use: this depends on the quality of the filtering materials employed, which should not cause skin irritation, as well as on the culture of the technology employed. Other important factors are the packaging, handling convenience and other features that might be perceived by the user.