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Q:

Are there “portable” respirators available for powder coating? Are they expensive?

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I’m sure that I don’t need to tell you that respiratory protection is critical for anyone working in an industrial powder coating environment. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), Washington, powder coating workers must wear no less than what is called an “N95,” NIOSH-approved respirator (otherwise known as a dust mask). These N95-type respirators are 95 percent efficient in protecting against hazardous particulate matter (in this case, powder coating dust) within their immediate breathing environment. These are commonly referred to as “dust masks” and feature a paper-like mask attached by head straps and a nose clip. Because the worker is not properly protected unless the mask is precisely worn, an annual fit test is required by OSHA. This can be a time-consuming and expensive process for employers. Dust masks really are the bare minimum of “acceptable” protection. When it comes to respiratory protection, powered air purifying respirators (PAPR) ... more
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