PAPR’s (powered air-purifying respirators) use a blower to force contaminated air through a HEPA filter, and supplies purified air into the face piece and breathing zone of the wearer.
PAPR’s are used in healthcare, welding, firefighting and laboratory work environments where exposure to aerosolized pathogens or smoke can cause acute respiratory infections or illness.
PAPRs may be outfitted with mechanical filters for atmospheres with particulate contamination, with a chemical cartridge for atmospheres with toxic gases or vapors, or both in combination. PAPRs can provide an assigned protection factor between 25 and 1000 depending on the type, as compared to an N95 mask‘s assigned protection factor of 10.
In the United States, HE (high-efficiency) filters are the class of particulate filter used with PAPRs. These are 99.97% efficient against 0.3 micron particles, the same as a P100 filter. PAPR HE filters used in industry are generally re-used until they are soiled, damaged, or reduce PAPR air flow below specified levels. In healthcare settings involving a live virus, CDC recommends that a practical replacement cycle be implemented.
APC has worked with PAPR OEM’s over our 40 years in the air filtration business. We design PAPR filters specific for each device to ensure optimum fit, function on performance.