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Supplied Air Respirator

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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Supplied air respirators and supplied air systems offer breathable air in environments where the ambient air presents danger or health risks to workers. In many types of industrial environment, the air may become contaminated with toxins from paint or chemicals, or saturated with small particles that are hazardous to breathe. Supplied air respirators provide a personal flow of air from a clean source and help maintain a comfortable, healthy environment to those who are exposed to hazardous air in the workplace.

All supplied air respirators connect to either an air supply or a powerful filtration unit. Remote air supplies that change ambient air into a form that is breathable are often called low-pressure ambient air pumps, because they feed uncompressed environmental air (from a source away from toxins and contaminants) into personal air supply systems. Some systems include individual blowers that act as ambient air pumps, channeling and slightly filtering air into the air respirator.

Units that draw air from an air supply and channel it to the respirator are usually referred to as in-line air filtration units. In-line units usually connect to powerful shop compressors, and are required by law to feature a carbon monoxide monitor for added safety. Some can heat or cool air as desired, which can help prevent the respirator's facemask or hood from fogging. Some are also belt mounted and include adaptors for air-driven tools, eliminating the need for two separate air hoses.

A Few Varieties of Supplied Air Respirators

The comfort of an air respirator depends largely on the type of facemask or hood that is used with it. Loose-fitting hoods are low maintenance and aren't too heavy, and offer a wide field of vision. Better protection, however, is afforded by fill facepiece respirators, which require fit tests for effective insulation.


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