What is a respirator?
Respirators protect the user in two basic ways. The first type of respirator removes contaminants from the air, and is called an air-purifying respirator (APR). APRs include particulate respirators, which filter out airborne particles, and “gas masks,” which filter out chemicals and gasses. Other respirators protect by supplying clean respirable air from another source. Air-supplying Respirators (ASR) comprise this category of respirators. They include airline respirators, which use compressed air from a remote source; and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), which include their own air supply.
Particulate filtering facepiece respirators — Sometimes referred to as disposable respirators because the entire respirator is discarded when it becomes unsuitable for further use due to considerations of hygiene, excessive resistance or physical damage. These are also commonly referred to as “N95s.”