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Powered Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR)

Definition - What does Powered Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR) mean?

Powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) is an article of personal protective equipment (PPE) for individuals working in a polluted air environment. A polluted air environment may include dust, fumes, smoke, harmful gases or chemical vapors. It is a battery operated piece of equipment that has a fan providing clean breathable air through the filters and supply hoses connected to half or full-face masks or mouth pieces.

Safeopedia explains Powered Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR)

PAPR types vary depending on the user’s requirement and pollutants in the environment. PARPs may be belt mounted, helmet mounted, face mounted or vehicle mounted. Each unit consists of a power pack, switch, fan, particulate filters (HEPA only), supply hose and a half or full-face piece mask (also hoods, head covers or helmets), with or without an adapter. Filters vary depending on the user and environmental requirement. Many of them have filters to clean nanomaterial such as dusts, paint mists during spray paints etc.. Filters are not reusable and these respirators are not suitable in wet environments, or if damaged. Main features of PAPR include the following:

  • Power operated, with a fan drawing air in from the environment and blowing through a hose to the mask
  • Particulate PAPRs are used to filter dust, fumes, and mists. Gas and vapor types do not protect users from particulates
  • Combination Respirators are used in environments where there are both particulates and gas or vapors are present. It is not a positive air pressure respirator in true sense
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