Finding the right respirator type - Different types of Respirators

Finding the right respirator type

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Reliably filter hazardous substances from ambient air with different types of respirators and masks

There are different types of respirators: Filtering devices, such as FFPs, full-face masks and powered-air purifying respirators are dependent from the ambient air and filter out hazardous substances from the air.

Hazardous substances are classified as either aerosols, liquid/solid particles, gases, vapours or compounds. Based on the type of hazardous substance, you can determine whether you will need a particle filter, a gas filter or both, in combination with a breathing respirator.

When is a filtering or purifying respirator sufficient for respiratory protection?

The basic preconditions for purifying respirator that must be met ...

  • oxygen level in the ambient air is at least 17 vol.-% (for CO filters: at least 19 vol.-%),
  • the type of hazardous substances is known and there is a suitable filtering material available,
  • the concentration level of the hazardous substance is not immediately life-threatening or hazardous to health,
  • the concentration lies within the accepted limits for using filtering devices.

Never use a purifying respirator when ...

  • oxygen levels in the area are too low (in Germany, below 17 vol.-% or for CO filters below 19 vol.-%).
  • you are working in poorly ventilated areas or enclosed spaces like tanks, containers, tunnels or ships,
  • the concentrations of hazardous substances in the working environment are unknown or can be immediately life-threatening or hazardous to the health (IDLH = immediately dangerous for life and health).
  • hazardous substances are occurring in concentrations that exceed or could exceed the maximum allowed concentration and/or strength of the filter.
  • in these cases, you need respiratory protection that is independent from ambient air.

You can tell if a filter needs to be replaced when ...

  • in gas filters, there is a recognisable odour or taste,
  • in particle filters, breathing resistance increases noticeably,
  • in combination filters, one of these two phenomena occurs.

Find more about Dräger filters on the next page.

A purifying respirator is not suitable whenever ...

  • breathing resistance increases noticeably,
  • you experience dizziness or pain,
  • you experience irritation or can smell or taste a contaminant, or
  • the filtering device is damaged.

Types of respirators: What substances are you protecting against?

The term "particles" generally refers to solid or liquid components of aerosols. These are categorized according to their size. Particle size varies greatly depending on the origin of the particles. This also determines how dangerous the particles are and which protective measures can be used. 

Particle-filtering masks provide protection during tasks in which heavy concentrations of dust are produced, such as grinding, sweeping or drilling.

In the following you´ll find an overview about the different types of respirators and masks:

different types of respirators - Single use half face masks

Single-use half-face masks

Reliable and comfortable: Our dust masks protect you against harmful particles and are designed for one-time use.

different types of respirators - Reusable half face masks

Reusable half-face masks

Reliable, comfortable and reusable: In combination with a particle filter, our reusable half-face masks also offer protection in dust-loaded working conditions.

Respiratory protection - Air purifying respirator

Powered-air purifying respirators (PAPR)

Breathing without resistance: Ambient air is pumped into the device and purified by a particle filter. You can breathe safely, without any resistance. In addition, various headpieces such as hoods, visors and masks protect the eyes.

If you are exposed at work to hazardous gases and/or vapours, you can rely on gas filters, in combination with respiratory protection masks, for protection. If there are not only gases but also hazardous particles in the air, you can protect yourself with a combination of gas and particle filter.

In the following you´ll find an overview about the different types of respirators and masks:

Half face masks

Half-face masks

Reliable respiratory protection: Half masks can be used with different filters, making them highly versatile. They protect against dust, gases and/or vapours during tasks such as cleaning or refilling.

Full face masks

Full-face masks

Reliable respiratory and eye protection: Full-face masks can be used with various filters. They protect the respiratory tract as well as the eyes from dust, gases and/or vapours, such as when handling chemicals.

Air purifying respirators

Powered-air purifying respirators

Breathing without resistance: Ambient air is pumped into the device and purified by a filter. Powered-air purifying respirators protect against dust, gases and/or vapours, without any breathing resistance. In addition, there are various headpieces such as hoods, visors and masks to protect the eyes.

People with masks

Which type of mask and filter is right for you?

Select the area of application, the task and the substances involved, as well as the primary hazardous substance. Based on that, we will help guide you towards the correct product.

Only the combination of protective masks and filters ensures protection.

A respiratory protection mask alone does not provide any protection. You must add a respiratory filter to protect your respiratory tract from harmful substances.

Learn more about filters

Knowledge to go

Introduction to respiratory protection
Introduction handbook

If hazardous substances occur at your workplace in concentrations that are too high, or if oxygen levels are too low, you need suitable respiratory protection. In our handbook, you can learn everything you need to know about the fundamentals of respiratory protection.

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Heavy respiratory protection: Isolation systems

These are used in areas where there are high concentrations of hazardous substances or a lack of oxygen. They provide the wearer with a safe air supply.

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Escape equipment

Escape devices are used in emergencies (for example, a sudden gas leak or a fire). They provide instant respiratory protection for a limited period.

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Safely using respiratory protection

Respiratory protection can only work reliably when used correctly. We have compiled a collection of practical tips and background information for you from our respiratory protection experts.

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Basic knowledge

Especially at the workplace, the inhalation of polluted air can lead to long-term damage to the respiratory organs and the entire body. Learn more about hazardous substances such as microparticles, gases and vapours that can lead to work-related illnesses such as asbestosis, asthma or cancer.

Get in touch with Dräger


Draeger Singapore Pte Ltd

61 Science Park Road
The Galen #04-01
Singapore 117525

+65 6872 9288

Draeger Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.

No. 6, Jalan 15/22, Taman Perindustrian Tiong Nam, Seksyen 15, 40200 Shah Alam,
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

+60 3 5526 2000

Draeger Philippines Corporation

2504-C West Tower, Tektite Towers, Exchange Road, Ortigas Center,
Pasig City 1605 Metro Manila, Philippines

+63 2 8470 3825


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