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NIOSH Fact Sheet: getting optimal performance from a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) depends on the condition of its battery!

Metzler RW; Szalajda JV
Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2013-146, 2013 Sep; :1-6
The guidance in this fact sheet will help respiratory protection program administrators, managers, and powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) wearers understand the importance of a PAPR's battery in assuring effective respiratory protection. The respiratory protection program administrator should assure that PAPR manufacturer recommendations for battery storage, care, usage, and disposal are addressed. However, an understanding of these requirements by managers and PAPR wearers is also beneficial to ensure personal protection. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) approves a PAPR as an assembly of components, which are listed on the full NIOSH approval label packaged with the unit. The battery is a crucial component of an approved PAPR assembly and must operate the assembly for a minimum period of four hours. The PAPR must be used with its manufacture-specified battery and provide the NIOSH-required air flow rates. A NIOSH-approved PAPR may include more than one battery type. However, for each alternate battery there is a specific assembly of components required to assure the PAPR performs to NIOSH standards. Use of components not listed on the NIOSH full approval label for the PAPR and air-purifying component constitutes an assembly not evaluated by NIOSH and may result in serious injury and/or death to the wearer. If the battery is not in proper operating condition, it may not supply the PAPR with a sufficient charge to perform properly, which could place the PAPR wearer at risk of personal injury or death. Therefore, it is important to know the battery's storage, use, care, and disposal requirements to assure effective personal protection. The instructions supplied with a PAPR might not include all of this information, so it is also essential to reference the instructions provided with the battery and battery charger.
Respirators; Respiratory-equipment; Air-purifying-respirators; Performance-capability; Equipment-design; Equipment-reliability; Personal-protective-equipment; Face-masks; Equipment-reliability
Publication Date
Document Type
Numbered Publication; Fact Sheet
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2013-146; M102013
NIOSH Division
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division