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Do You Know the Assigned Protection Factor Your Respirator Must Have?

Aug 18, 2017 9:28:00 AM / by Quad City Safety

Respirators have a job to do, don't ever forget that!

Just slipping on any old respirator doesn’t work. You need to know the science behind them and that starts with knowing that they’re designated by their class.

Each class has an assigned protection factor (APF) that tells you how much protection it will give you. An APF of 10 means that the outside concentration of a particular contaminant will be 10 times greater outside than what will be inhaled through the respirator.

You can breathe in a little bit of most compounds, but just like that extra chili cheese dog— at some point you gotta stop!

Bottom line: Choose your respirator type by the hazard and the APF you need, so that you don’t need to carry around an oxygen tank later on.

Bacon’s Safety Tips Respiratory Protection: Assigned Protection Factor by Type.


If you are working in an area that is full of things you shouldn’t be breathing in, your employer not only needs to provide you with respiratory protection, it must be the right one. Guess what? There is a whole science behind it. So, make sure there are regular hazard assessments done. Make sure your safety equipment matches the risk. Then, just make sure you aren’t walking around with a dust mask when the job calls for self-contained breathing apparatus. Simple, right?

confined space calibration and bump testing video

Oh, here’s another thing to remember. You should also know a few other pesky little things— like is it flammable or can it cause an explosion?


We’re here if you need more help choosing the right respirator for your job. Heck, we’re here if you just want to shoot the breeze. Just click on the HELP ME button or share your thoughts below!

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Safety: It’s Your Life, It’s Our Business

Topics: Respirator safety, Respirators, Respiratory