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      Respirators

      If you work with paint, resins, fiberglass or hazardous chemicals, or a lot of dust tends to accumulate at your construction site, one of these handy respirators will be an essential tool for keeping your lungs safe while your field of view is unobstructed. Many of our options are designed with anti-fog lenses and replaceable filters, and are comfortable enough for all-day use.

      The Air We Breathe

      Regardless of whether you're a fireman, construction worker, or medical professional, chances are you're constantly being exposed to airborne contaminants like dust, debris, harmful gases, and even viruses. These types of situations provide the perfect opportunity to use one or various types of respirators in order to keep yourself healthy and safe from harm.

      While all respirators are characterized by having some type of face piece designed to create a seal between fresh and contaminated air, they fall into one of two major categories, air-purifying and air-supplied varieties.

      Air-purifying respirators (APRs) force contaminated air (like smoke or fumes) through a filtering element, through which they are able to remove particles, toxic vapors, or gases, making them appropriate for use in environments with low levels of contamination. Their classifications include negative-pressure devices, that make use of mechanical filters, and positive-pressure units like powered air purifying respirators (PAPRs), which utilize both filters and a motor blower to provide fresh air to the user. Air-purifying units are further broken down into particle-filtering (PFRs) and vapor and gas filtering subcategories. Particle-filtering respirators are specifically-dedicated to removing dusts, mists, aerosols and fumes by creating a physical barrier to block the path of these substances, while vapor and gas filtering devices actually remove more dangerous gases and vapors from the air the user is breathing.

      Interestingly enough, the design for the face pieces of air-purifying respirators can be disposable, quartered, half-sized, or they can cover the user's face entirely. Disposable respirators are the type you might use around the house when vacuuming dusty areas or doing a lot of cleaning that would require the use of aerosols to get rid of messes or freshen the air. Quarter-mask respirators are usually equipped with special cartridges or cloth filters and they fit over the space between the top of the nose and chin. Half-mask respirators fit from under the chin to just directly above the nose and are designed to protect users from more volatile chemicals like pesticides, acid gases, and ammonia. They will also leverage multiple cartridges dedicated to filtering out individual contaminants from the air. These cartridges are then disposed of once they've reached their limits. Like their half-mask counterparts, full-face respirators make use of chin-mounted canisters, each with specially-dedicated cartridges for filtering individual contaminants.

      Supplied-air respirators are built for environments with low levels of oxygen and in circumstances where contaminants cannot be filtered out by their APR counterparts. They are best for use in enclosed areas with highly-contaminated air, such as hazardous waste sites, and are divided into both the Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and the Air Line Respirator (ALR) categories. With an SCBA, a separate air tank is carried by the user, whereas the ALR has its air supply located a certain distance away and is carried to the user's face piece by an air hose.