An evaluation of respirator maintenance requirements.
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1997 Feb; 58(2):116-120
In an effort to evaluate the performance of negative pressure air purifying respirator inhalation and exhalation valves over time in actual use situations a survey was conducted examining maintenance aspects of industrial respiratory protection programs. Thirty companies, primarily involved in hardgoods manufacturing or service industries, using negative air purifying respirators were surveyed. The factors most frequently cited as contributing to the decision to use nondisposable air purifying respirators were type of containment and exposure level; cost was not a major determining factor. The majority of respondents were using the respirators for protection from hazardous aerosols. Ninety three percent of the responding companies reported having formal respiratory protection programs that included written manuals, 93% reported that the respirators were inspected, 96% reported that the respirators were cleaned and sanitized, 79% reported that maintenance was performed, and 79% reported that inhalation and exhalation valves were replaced. Employees were responsible for inspecting the respirators in 96% and for performing maintenance and replacing valves in 73% of companies requiring such activities. The majority of respondents indicated that the service life of a respirator was between 3 and 4 years. Based on these results the authors suggest that all respirator parts should be inspected before and after each use, that replacement parts should be available on site, that respirators should be cleaned regularly, and that training sessions should include hands on practice with respirators and their maintenance.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Respirators; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Air-purifying-respirators; Occupational-health-programs; Occupational-safety-programs; Personal-protective-equipment
Environ & Occupational Health University of Minnesota 420 Delaware St Se, Box 197 Um Minneapolis, MN 55455
Respirator Research; Respirators; Control Technology and Personal Protective Equipment; Research Tools and Approaches
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota