Respiratory Protection - Air Purification Devices

The PAPR is a powered portable air purification device. Air is blown via positive pressure from a battery operated fan through a filter.

Advantages of this method aside from portability is the ease of breathing due to the assisted airflow decreasing the work of breathing and metabolic demand and contributing to longer tolerance with physically demanding work. Disadvantages, aside from cost, include the possible compromise of the filter by exposure to heavy dust, dirt or a wet environment.

Purification devices generally include a filter or charcoal canister. Nuclear, biological and chemical filters are available but must be selected for the appropriate agent and environment anticipated. Additional examples of respirator masks are the M 17A2 mask, the M 40 which involves filters and their necessary selection.

These devices are not to be confused with rescue hoods or masks which are offered to allow only for emergency rapid evacuation of a contaminated area. While being one size fits all, relatively inexpensive and requiring minimal training, these forms of PPE are meant for quick escapes and should not be used for rescue personnel performing physically arduous or lengthy tasks.

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