What Your Respirator Cannot Do (News Release)

An air-purifying respirator can protect you from dust and other particles but it can be dangerous when used in the wrong situation.

Do not use a respirator in very dusty conditions because of explosion risks. The rule of thumb is that if it is too dusty to see your hand at arm's length, the atmosphere may be explosive.

Do not use a respirator with an inappropriate filter or cartridge.

Do not use an air-purifying respirator in a toxic environment, such as hog confinement pits, silos or sludge tanks. These conditions may require special equipment because the environment contains a low amount of oxygen. High concentrations of fumes and other toxins also can overload a respirator and cause it to "short circuit."

For more information about the use of respirators, contact your local Extension office or get a copy of a new Safe Farm publication on this topic.

This news release was distributed by Iowa State University Extension as part of the Safe Farm Program. Safe Farm promotes health and safety in agriculture. It is funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Iowa State University, and a network of groups that serve Iowa farm workers and their families. Distribution date: February 1993.

Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More