When did you last change your filters?
3M™ – When did you last change your filters?
Respirator filters do not last forever. Once a gas and vapour filter has been used to its full capacity, it will no longer offer any protection. An overused particulate filter will still protect you, but it will be hard to breathe through, leading to fatigue and reduced productivity.
The life of a filter can be affected by a number of factors, including the type of filter, concentration of contaminants in the air, respiration rate, humidity and temperature.
The best practice is to establish a filter replacement schedule with a specified period of time after which filters must be replaced. This period is best determined using objective data and a life estimation tool such as 3M Service Life software. Alternatively, a filter replacement schedule can be developed based on the typical breakthrough times for gas and vapor filters, or the fill times for particulate filters, at your workplace, applying a safety margin. However, this method is less accurate because it relies on human senses, which are subjective and variable.
Are you changing your filters often enough?
As a very minimum, filters must be changed when:
- You can taste or smell the contaminant when wearing the respirator correctly (gas and vapour or combination filters);
- The filter becomes difficult to breathe through (particulate or combination filters);
- The expiry date of the filter has passed;
- The filter has been out of its packaging for 6 months or more (gas and vapour or combination filters);
- The filter shows any signs of damage.
Or even better, draw up a replacement schedule for replacing filters. We are happy to help you on your way to the right protection.
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