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MERCANTA

www.mercanta.com 1.0 Respirators They are integral and disposable filter units which protect the respiratory tracts against the inhalation of dust, bacte- ria, nuisance odours, gases and vapours. They are used at construction sites, in general industry, agriculture, hospitals, laboratories and chemical industry where hazardous containments can enter the trachea and the lungs. ➤ Advantages ➣ very comfortable wearing – can easily be put on or taken off ➣ extremely lightweight ➣ covers completely the wearer’s nose and mouth without any disturbance ➣ inexpensive ➣ extremely hygienic – provided for one-time use ➣ no restrictions in mobility ➣ no maintenance required ➤ Disadvantages ➣ can be used for light duty works only ➣ environment dependent ➣ CAUTION: Not suitable against containments immediately dangerous to health, such as extremely toxic levels of dust, gases and fumes. The following table shows, what size of particulate matter must be filtered. Particles with a size of more than 5 microns (= 0,000005 mm) can usually be expelled from the trachea and bronchi. However, particles with a size of 5 microns and less can be trapped deep in the lungs, and these must be filtered by mechanical means, such as an appropriate respirator or a particle filter together with a filter mask. Precautions should also be taken with granular sizes of more than 5 microns, when these particles could collect in the nose and mouth. Sizes of Particulate Matters Trachea 10 Microns Bronchus 5 - 10 Microns Bronchiole 1 - 5 Microns Alevoli 0,01 - 1 Microns In general particulate matter can be divided into 3 types: ➤ Dust results when solid materials are broken down into fine particles which float in the air and come to rest due to gravity. Dust is generated by processes such as grinding and sawing. ➤ Mists are airborne droplets produced by the condensation of vapour or the atomisation of a liquid. The droplets may carry substances in solution or particles in suspension. Mists can be generated by spraying or mixing. ➤ Fumes are particles forming an airborne suspension. They are caused by the heating of a solid substance to such an extent that it vapourises and then condenses into small particles in the surrounding air. Fumes are thermally generated by processes such as welding and the pouring of molten metal. 1.1 European Respiratory Protection Standards EN149:2001 is the current standard for disposable filtering face piece respirators for particulates only. The devices are constructed substantially from the actual filter media. They are designed to be disposed of at the end of each shift. There are three levels of performance and these are referred to in the standard as FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3. EN 149:2001 was superseded by an amended version, EN 149:2001+A1:2009 (EN 149+A1) in July 2009. Changes included the introduction of two usability clas- sifications for disposable respirators; single shift only devices non-reusable (shown through marking “NR”) and reusable devices (marked “R”). The amended European Standard EN 149:2001+A1:2009 states that all reusable devices must withstand being cleaned and disinfected using a method provided by the manufacturer. This change, along with new performance requirements, is intended to give the user further confidence in respirators providing continuous respiratory protection in hazardous environments. All particle filtering half masks featured fully conform to EN 149:2001+A1:2009. Disposable respirators that have passed the optional Dolomite clogging test have a suffix “D” listed in their conformity standards. 1.2 Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (CoSHH) Regulations 2004 These Regulations serve to amend, not replace, the CoSHH Regulations 2002. There is a number of chang- es, the two most significant being: ➣ The inclusion of the framework of control and introduction of eight principles of good practice for the control of hazardous substances. ➣ The replacement of the current Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL) system, which included two definitions - Maximum Exposure Limit (MEL) and Occupational Exposure Standard (OES) - with a new system that has just one definition, Workplace Exposure Limit (WEL). The WEL for a given substance should not be exceed- ed. The HSE, however, have specified certain groups of substances where exposure should be as far below the WEL as is reasonably practicable. These substances include those that cause cancer, respiratory sensitisation or heritable genetic changes. Particle Filter Class Protection against Ability to hold back P1 solid particle low P2 solid and liquid medium P3 solid and liquid high 43

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