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Air-Purifying Respirator (APR)

Last updated: May 5, 2017

What Does Air-Purifying Respirator (APR) Mean?

An air-purifying respirator (APR) is a type of personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers in an atmosphere where the air is contaminated by dusts, fumes, smoke, harmful gases or vapors. An APR provides clean, breathable air through hoods, face masks or mouth pieces the use filtration to remove air pollutants.

Safeopedia Explains Air-Purifying Respirator (APR)

An air-purifying respirator is worn around the face and usually contains a face visor and two cartridges of breathable air. There are two types of air purifying respirators: The negative pressure respirator and the positive pressure respirator. In a negative pressure respirator, mechanical filters or a chemical medium is used. In a positive pressure respirator, positive air pressure produced by a fan forces incoming air through filters in the user's mask.

There are three types of negative pressure APRs available:

  • Particulate respirators are used to filter dust, fumes and mist. These respirators are not reusable. They cannot be used if wet or damaged.
  • Combination respirators are used in an environment where there is both particulate and gas or vapors. It has a single type cartridge fixed to a half or full-face mask. In an environment that has particulates and gas, a combination respirator is required.
  • Gas and vapor respirators are designed protect the user from harmful gases and vapors. The user wears a half-mask or full-mask with a respirator cartridge. Gas and vapor respirators do not protect users from particulates.

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