"Un professionnel avec un masque respiratoire AirGearPro G-750 et filtres A1P2 assure une protection optimale en tant que masque à gaz et masque peinture, combinant ajustement parfait et confort dans tous les milieux."

Comprehensive Guide to Choosing Respirator Filters

Understanding the critical role of respirator filters in protecting against hazardous substances is essential for ensuring workplace safety. This  guide delves into different types of respirator filters, their applications, and standards, providing you with the knowledge to select the right filter based on your specific needs.

FILTER TYPES AND STANDARDS: Respirator filters are categorized based on the protection they offer against different hazards, including particles, gases, and vapors. European standards have set the criteria for these filters:
EN 14387 Focuses on anti-gas and combined filters
EN 143 Targets particle filters, introducing classifications like P1,P2, and P3 for dust resistance and reusability.
EN 372 SX Specializes in anti-gas filters against specific substance combinations, extending the coverage of EN 14387.
EN 149 Defines specifications for disposable masks, emphasizing single-use protection

Aerosol filters are crucial for environments with suspended solid or liquid particles. Their design aims to protect against these particles with negligible falling speeds.

Application Scenarios: Aerosol filters are utilized when facing risks from solid particles and liquid aerosols, offering protection in diverse settings from construction sites to chemical handling facilities.

Identification Tips: Disposable Masks-Marked with “FFP” followed by a class (P1, P2, P3), directly on the mask. Filter Cartridges- Feature a white band around the cartridge, indicating the filter class.

Efficiency Classes
Class P1 filters (low efficiency) Stop at least 80% of this aerosol (i.e., penetration of less than 20%)
Class P2 filters (medium efficiency)  Stop at least 94% of this aerosol (i.e., penetration of less than 6%)
Class P3 filters (high efficiency) Stop at least 99.95% of this aerosol (i.e., penetration of less than 0.05%)

  How to choose the efficiency class of an anti-aerosol filter?
P1 Annoying dusts, non-toxic fibrogenic dusts
P2 Toxic dust (wood, polyester resin, etc.), metal fumes (welding fumes), Oil Mist
P3 Very toxic dust (asbestos, arsenic, cadmium, etc.) lead, welding fumes, Oil Mist

Protection against gases and vapors requires filters designed for specific substances, identifiable by unique markings.

Recognizing Gas Filters: Each filter type is marked with a letter and color band, indicating its protective capacity against certain gases or vapor families. 

Color Area of ​​use
A Brown Organic gases and vapors with a boiling point above 65°C
B Gray Inorganic gases and vapors (except carbon monoxide CO) (*) (*) some manufacturers offer specific filters against carbon monoxide (CO)
E Yellow Sulfur dioxide (SO2) and other acidic gases and vapors
K Green Ammonia and organic amine derivatives
HgP3 Red + white Mercury vapors
NOP3 Blue + white Nitrogen oxides
AX Brown Low boiling point organic compounds (65°C)
SX Purple Specific compounds designated by the manufacturer
How to choose the efficiency class of a gas filter?: There are three classes of gas filters based on their trapping capacity
Class 1 The lowest capacity (cake)
Class 2 Average capacity (cartridge)
Class 3 Largest capacity (can)

How to read the marking on a gas filter?

The filter is marked according to the type of gas and the efficiency class: A1, A2, A3, AB2 (or A2B2)…
The following combinations can be found: 
AB1 (also A1B1) (or 2 or 3)
Brown + gray Mixed filter against organic gases and vapors and class 1 (or 2 or 3) inorganic gases and vapors
BK1 (also B1K1) (or 2 or 3) Gray + green Mixed filter against inorganic gases and vapors and against ammonia and class 1 (or 2 or 3) organic amine derivatives
AE1 (also A1E1)
(or 2 or 3)
Brown + yellow Mixed filter against organic gases and vapors and sulfur dioxide and acid vapors
ABEK1 (also A1B1E1K1) (or 2 or 3) Brown + gray + yellow + green Mixed filter against organic, inorganic gases and vapors, sulfur dioxide, acids and against ammonia and class 1 (or 2 or 3) amine derivatives
COMBINED PROTECTION: For environments where protection against both aerosols and gases/vapors is necessary, combined filters offer a solution. These filters integrate multiple protective layers, catering to diverse workplace hazards. Many other combinations are possible depending on the suppliers.
AXP1 (or 2 or 3) Brown + white Combined filter against low boiling point organic gases and vapors and against class 1 (or 2 or 3) aerosols
AB1 (or 2 or 3) (also A1B1 or 2 or 3) P1 (or 2 or 3) Brown + gray + white Combined filter against class 1 (or 2 or 3) organic and inorganic gases and vapors and against class 1 (or 2 or 3) aerosols

Some examples of areas of application of gas filters 
Type A filtration Protection against organic vapors with a boiling point above 65° C (solvents and hydrocarbons): Acetates, Acids (acetic, acrylic), Acrylate (methyl ethyl), Alcohols, Benzene, Butanol, Butyl Glycol, Cresols, Dichloro (-ethane, - benzene, -toluene), Aromatic essences Ethanol, dichloroethyl, Ethyl glycol, Isopropanol, Kerosene, Methyls, Perchlorethylene, Phenols, (AB), (AK), Styrene, Turpentine, Trichlorethylene, Trichloroethane, Toluene, White spirit , Xylenes
AX type filtration Protection against organic vapors with a boiling point below 65° C: Methyl acetate, Acetone, Bromoethane, Butane, Chloroethane, Chloroform, Vinyl chloride, Dichloroethane, Dichloroethylene, Dichloromethane, Diethylamine, Dimethyl ether, Formate ethyl, Freons, Methanol, Methylbutane, Trichloromethane
Type B filtration Protection against inorganic gases and vapors : Acids (hydrogen cyanide, nitric, hydrogen sulfide), Aminopropane, Bromine, Hydrogen bromide, Chlorine ( ), Cyanides, Chlorine dioxide, Fluorine, Formalin), Arsenic hydrogen, Isocyanates, Nitroglycerin, Sulfide carbon
Type E filtration Protection against: Acids (hydrobromic, hydrochloric, hydrofluoric, formic), Sulfur dioxide, Sulfur dioxide, Hydrochloric gas
Type K filtration Protection against ammonia and certain amine derivatives: Aziridine, Butylamine, Diethylamine, Diisopropylamine, Dimethylamine, Dimethylhydrazine, Ethylamine, Ethylene imine, Hydrazine, Isopropylamine, Methylamine

MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE: Selecting the appropriate respirator filter involves understanding the specific hazards of your work environment and referring to safety data sheets for guidance. Whether dealing with aerosols, gases, or a combination of both, the right filter can significantly impact your safety and health.

CONCLUSION: The choice of respirator filter plays a crucial role in workplace safety, protecting against a range of hazardous substances. By familiarizing yourself with the types of filters, their standards, and application scenarios, you can ensure complete respiratory protection in your professional environment.

For those seeking proven and reliable options, AirGearPro respirator masks, such as the G-500 and G-750 models, are among the top choices for professionals. These masks, known for their effectiveness and comfort, come with replaceable filters, ensuring longevity and adaptability to various work environments. User safety being a priority, these products exemplify AirGearPro's commitment to providing top-tier respiratory protection solutions.

For more insights, check out our other informative blogs:
Understanding Respirator Masks and Occupational Health
A Holistic Guide to Choosing the Right Respirator for Your Safety



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