Respiratory protection is required for people who work in environments that may be contaminated with things such as gas, smoke, sprays, pollen, fog, fumes, mist and other types of vapors. This includes firefighters, chemical workers, gardeners, miners, manufacturing workers, and garage workers. This type of safety gear is also used in various types of environments such as test chambers, as well as personnel working in gas leak areas. Everyday commuters walking in polluted and smoky streets will often wear respiratory protection in some parts of the world.
Clean air devices such as air purifiers, air filters and air cleaners are usually fitted at strategic locations in most types of factories and industrial sites to help keep the air contaminant free for the workers. However, many types of jobs require more fine and precise air filtering and cleansing and this is where personal respiratory protection needs to be worn. Personnel need to wear devices such as gas masks, dust masks, disposable dust masks, hoods, self contained breathing apparatus, and helmets that either provide a barrier against particulate impurities or have self-contained mechanisms that provide purified air and prevent operators from breathing in any type of harmful air.
These respiratory devices can usually be purchased with different capacities and features on them. There are different types of devices designed for specific kinds of uses. For example, a gas mask that is designed for specific types of gases isn't appropriate for use against other types of air contaminants and vice versa. Make sure that the respiratory protection fits you comfortably and that you are thoroughly trained in its use. The equipment should also meet all government standards and be properly tested. Respiratory protection is essential in many types of jobs, and if it isn't used properly it could lead to serious personal injury and perhaps even death.