Gas Masks: Types and How to Choose the Right One for Yourself

Gas Masks

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Does your job involve working with dangerous chemicals? Have you given a thought to the fact that how dangerous it is to work with such chemicals without a proper mask? Well, the right gas mask will help you maintain it is important that you purchase them with care.

How does a Facemask/Respirator help?

It has been years now that facemasks and respirators are used in hazardous workplace environment. They are really easy and comfortable in use and potentially prevent several respiratory illnesses.

Generally, we have seen medical professionals using facemasks. Well, what they use are typically disposables. On the other hand, respirators are totally different and designed to protect you against harsher environment. Today, gas masks have a complete new identity and their look and features have completely changed. Now they have:

  • Different designs
  • Different materials
  • Provide complete head protection
  • Full body suit that protects your entire body
  • Inbuilt electrical communication

Types of gas masks and colour coding:

  • The chemical cartridge
  • The powered air
  • The self-contained breathing

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration have passed certain regulations concerning the use of respirators. They have designed a colour-coding system, which helps you keep track of gas masks. For instance,

  • White suggests protection against acidic gases.
  • Black suggests protection against organic vapours.
  • Green is used as protection against ammonia vapours.
  • Blue indicates protection from carbon monoxide.
  • Yellow suggests protection against both acidic gases and organic vapours.
  • Brown suggests protection from acidic gases, ammonia gases and organic vapours.
  • Purple or magenta is suggests safety from radioactive materials.
  • Orange suggests protection against any particulate.
  • Teal indicates safety only against oil-free particulate.

Points to consider before getting one:

A gas mask is not something that you just go to a shop and purchase. There are many points to consider, after all a wisely selected mask is expected to provide you utmost safety. Let’s see what all needs to be considered before selecting a respirator for you.

  • First of all, make a list of contaminants to which you are exposed while on work and then check if the respirator you are picking is blocking those contaminants or not.
  • See that whatever mask you pick fits your face. Most of the designs are of same size, but there are also companies that make masks, which come in personal fits.
  • Make sure that the company manufacturing or the seller of the mask provides training or at least guidelines on the use of masks.
  • Learn about the storage and maintenance requirements.
  • Make sure, you can drink, eat and talk while wearing the respirator.
  • Check if the use of mask affects your vision.

We all are aware of the dangers involved in working in our work environment. Using an appropriate safety mask will really help you keep up with good health and ensure safety in the long run.

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