Powered Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR)

Last Updated: August 28, 2020

Definition - What does Powered Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR) mean?

A powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) is a personal protective equipment device used to prevent a worker's exposure to atmospheric hazards. The PAPR protects the wearer by preventing him or her from inhaling contaminants.

A PAPR uses a battery-powered system to pull ambient air through a purifying device and into the user's breathing zone. A filter, cartridge, or canister in the PAPR is used to remove the atmospheric contaminants. Because the PAPR system uses ambient air, the PAPR may only be used in situations where the contaminants and their concentrations are known. Different PAPR systems are capable of filtering different types and concentrations of contaminants.

WorkplaceTesting explains Powered Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR)

Powered air-purifying systems (PAPRs) are useful in situations where a worker may be engaged in strenuous work. The steady supply of blow air reduces the necessary effort to breathe and can have a cooling affect. Additionally, because a PAPR produces less respirator breathing resistance, it may be a suitable substitute for employees who do not qualify for use of a negative pressure respirator. PAPRs can be used with either fitted masks or loose hoods, allowing for greater flexibility when selecting an appropriate face piece for the individual worker.

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