Elastomeric Half Mask Respirator Resources

Elastomeric Half Mask Respirators

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Elastomeric half mask respirators (EHMRs) are a type of air-purifying respirator and are reusable devices with exchangeable filter elements (cartridges or filters) that may be selected to provide the needed level of filtration (e.g., N95). The facepieces are made of synthetic or natural rubber material that allow repeated cleaning, disinfection, storage, and reuse. EHMRs can be used to protect against gases, vapors, and particles if equipped with the appropriate filters or cartridges. Because the facepiece must form a tight seal against the user’s face, EHMRs require fit testing at least annually.

Learn more about NIOSH’s studies and the EHMR resources available in the sections below.

What are the benefits of EHMRs?

  • Reusable
  • Replaceable filter elements
  • Offers at least equivalent or more protection than N95 filtering facepiece respirators

What are the potential challenges of EHMRs?

  • May interfere with communication and downward gaze
  • Storage between work shifts
  • Needs cleaning and disinfecting

NIOSH Studies