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Top Tips for Wearing a Respirator

MSA, a leading safety equipment manufacturer, offers tips for the proper use of respirators.


MSA, a leading safety equipment manufacturer that has provided safety equipment to rescue workers at the World Trade Center and has formed a partnership to help rescue workers receive proper fit testing for their respirators, offers this list of tips for respirator wearers.

  1. Never wear a full beard when using a respirator. Facial hair can limit the effectiveness of a respirator''s face-to-facepiece seal.
  2. Always replace disposable respirators with every use. These respirators are not designed for repeated use.
  3. Always read the instructions that come with the respirator closely to determine if it is designed to help protect against the hazards you may face and to ensure that you use it properly.
  4. When inserting filters into a half-mask or full-mask respirator facepiece, always remember to remove the protective covers from the filters.
  5. To ensure the highest level of protection possible for a given respirator, users should be properly fit tested.
  6. Change filters on half-mask or full-mask respirators frequently. The life of these filters will vary depending on the concentration of the hazard, the storage conditions and age of the filter. OSHA recommends establishing a change-out schedule based on the hazard that may come in contact with the filter.
  7. When working around airborne particles or debris, be sure to wear either a full-mask respirator or a faceshield along with your respirator to protect your face.
  8. Although a respirator is a first line of defense, always be sure to work in a well-ventilated area whenever possible to help reduce the concentration of airborne hazards.
  9. If you are unsure of how to select the proper respirator to wear, call 1-888-MSA-HOW2, the MSA Safety Works hotline for consumer safety, before you begin a project. Respirators should be an important component of any home improvement project.

By Sandy Smith ([email protected])

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