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Respirator Selection Guidelines

The following information provides only a brief summary of the respirator selection process. For more information, contact the EH&S Respiratory Protection Program Manager at 352-392-1591.

The first step in selecting the appropriate respirator is to identify the activity or process the individual will be engaged in. The concentration of the air-borne contaminant should be determined either through exposure assessments using air sampling methods or by making a reasonable estimate of the concentration encountered in the work area. These results are then compared to established “safe levels of exposure” using published exposure limits and guidelines.

Additional steps in the process include:

  • Assessing the respirator’s assigned protection factors
  • The time the wearer will spend using the respirator
  • Researching existing standards for a chemical that may require a specific type of respiratory protection
  • The atmosphere the respirator will be used in (e.g. oxygen deficient)
  • The physical and filtering limitations of the respirator

Respirators can be tight fitting or loose fitting as outlined below.

Tight Fitting Coverings

Loose Fitting Coverings




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