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Respirator Trusted-Source Information

Section 1: NIOSH-Approved Respirators

Many Different Manufacturers Provide a Large Variety of Respirator Models

Filtering facepiece respirators approved by NIOSH as N95s are often recommended when individuals may be exposed to small particle aerosols. When an N95 respirator is required as the minimum level of protection, there are also six other grades of products that will satisfy this minimum requirement. R-type or P-type series filters may be employed in situations where N95 respirators are recommended, although N-types may not be substituted where R-type or P-type series are required. Each series has three potential levels of efficiency (95, 99, and 100). The following links will take you to lists of filtering facepiece respirators approved by NIOSH. Supplier information is also available from these lists.

Other NIOSH-Approved Respirators with Similar Protection

Elastomeric Halfmask and Full Facepiece Respirators

Filtering facepiece respirators are not the only types of respirators that use a filtration method of purifying your breathing air. Elastomerics will have replaceable filters with either a washable (able to be cleaned and disinfected), or even a disposable (rubber-like) facepiece. These types of respirators are also approved using the same protection classification (as explained above) as filtering facepiece respirators. They are available as both half-masks, fitting under the chin and only covering the nose and mouth, and full facepieces, which have a clear lens that covers the eyes as well as the nose and mouth.

Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR)

The final category of particle filtering respirators that may be considered as alternatives to N95 filtering facepiece respirators is known as the Powered Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR). This type of respirator uses a battery-powered blower to force air through a particle filter for the wearer to breathe. They are capable of filtering particles from the air at efficiencies suitable to be substituted in situations where an N95 type filter has been recommended. The protection category for particle filtering PAPRs is designated as HEPA, which stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air filter. The links that follow provide lists of approved PAPRs employing various types of elastomeric facepieces or helmet/hood-type head coverings. Following the links on the pages will provide more information about the NIOSH approval and the manufacturer of the respirator.

The links that follow provide lists of approved respirators employing elastomeric facepieces with the same protection categories as filtering facepiece respirators approved by NIOSH. Following the links on the pages will provide you with more information about the NIOSH approval and the manufacturer of the respirator.

Distribution Availability for Elastomeric Half-Mask and Full Facepiece Respirators and Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPR)

Note: When using the links listed below use your browser's "Back to..." button to return to this page.

Halfmask Respirators

Full Facepiece Respirators

Powered Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR)

Continue to Section 2: Use of NIOSH Respirators