Respiratory Protection

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Finding the right gas canister for you

Types of gas filters

There are different types of gas filters, specific either to a single gas or a group of gases. To select the right gas filter, you must first know the gas from which you wish to protect yourself.

A filter type is identified by a letter with anassociated colored marking.

Type
Color
Area of use
A
A
Organic gases and vapors with aboiling point higher than 65°C (Solvents, hydrocarbons,alcohols, benzene, ethanol, freons, white spirit)
B
B
Inorganic gases and vapors
(Hydrogen cyanide, bromine, chlorine, cyanide, chlorine dioxide, fluorine, hydrogen sulfide, carbon disulfide)
E
E
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) and other acid gases and vapors
(Acrylic acid, formic acid, nitric acid, hydrogenchloride, hydrogen fluoride)
K
K
Ammonia and organic amino derivatives
(DMA, DMEA, hydrazine, methylamine, MMH etc.)
Hg
Hg
Mecury vapor
Nox
Nox
Nitrogen oxide
AX
Ax
Organic gases and vapors with aboiling point lower than 65°C
(VOC, Methyl acetate, acetone, chloroform, methanol,phenols, styrene)
SX
Sx
Specific compounds designated by the manufacturer
CO
CO
Carbon monoxide
Reactor
Reactor
Radioactive iodine, radioactive methyl iodide
P
P
Solid and liquid particles (lead, asbestos, ceramic fibers, aerosols), radioactive and highly toxic particles, bacteria and viruses (avian flu, influenza A/H1N1, SARS, tuberculosis, Ebola virus)

Source ED6106 INRS

A gas filter can protect against different groups of gases, in which case it is said to be "mixed". The juxtaposition of the corresponding letters and the associated colorimetric markings are then indicated on the filter. An AB filter for example protects against organic and inorganic gases and vapors.

Gas filter efficiency

Gas protection filters are divided into 3 classes based on their efficiency :


Class 1 : for the lowest efficiency (round filter)
Class 2 : for medium efficiency (cartridge)
Class 3 : for the highest efficiency (canister)

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Gas filter class
Class
Efficiency
Maximumc oncentration of the test gas
(EN 14387 standard)
Negative pressure respirators
Maximum concentration of the test gas
(standards EN 12941/12942)
Powered air purifying respirators
1
Low
1 000 ppm
(0,1%)
500 ppm
(0,05%)
2
Medium
5 000 ppm
(0,5%)
1 000 ppm
(0,1%)
3
High
10 000 ppm
(1%)
(0,8% for type A filters)
5 000 ppm
(0,5%)
Efficiency of gas filters with negative pressure filtering devices - 14387 standard
Type de filtre
gaz d'essai
Minimum penetration time
Minimum penetration time
Minimum penetration time
Type of filter
Test gas
Class 1
(test gas concentration
1 000 ppm)
Class 2
(test gas concentration
5 000 ppm)
Class 3
(test gas concentration
10 000 ppm)
A
Cyclohexane C6H12
70 min
35 min
65 min
B
Chlorine C2
Hydrogen sulfide H2S
Hydrogen cyanide HCN
20 min
40 min
25 min
20 min
40 min
25 min
30 min
60 min
35 min
E
Sulfur dioxide SO2
20 min
20 min
30 min
K
Ammonia NH3
50 min
40 min
60 min
Efficiency of special gas filters
Type of filter
Test gas
Minimum penetration time
Test gas concentration
AX
Dimethyl ether CH3OCH3
Isobutane C4H10
5 min
50 min
0,05 %
0,25 %
Hg-P3
Mercury vapor
100 hours
1,6ml/mg
Efficiency of  gas filters with powered filtering devices - EN 12941/12942 standards
Type de filtre
gaz d'essai
Minimum penetration time
Minimum penetration time
Minimum penetration time
Type of filter
Test gas
Class 1
(test gas concentration
500 ppm)
Class 2
(test gas concentration
1 000 ppm)
Class 3
(test gas concentration
5 000 ppm)
A
Cyclohexane C6H12
70 min
70 min
35 min
B
Chlorine C2
Hydrogen sulfide H2S
Hydrogen cyanide HCN
20 min
40 min
25 min
20 min
40 min
25 min
30 min
60 min
35 min
E
Sulfur dioxide SO2
20 min
20 min
20 min
K
Ammonia NH3
50 min
50 min
40 min

AX and SX specific filters do not have an efficiency class. AX filters are for single use.

Negative pressure respirators must not be used in the following situations:

o ambient oxygen rate < 19%
o confined spaces
o areas with little or no ventilation
o areas in which the concentration of the pollutant is unknown or immediately lethal
o areas in which the concentration of the pollutant exceeds the maximum permissible concentration (OEL) or exceeds the capacity of the filter.

In such cases, the use of self-contained breathing apparatus is highly recommended.

Make sure that your respiratory protective equipment is fully operational and bring confidence to your employees

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