Particulate respirators, like P2 Masks protect against airborne particles like dust, mist and fumes but don’t offer any form of protection against airborne contaminants like gases, chemicals and vapours. They do not protect against gases. Commonly known as P1, P2, P3 or N-95 filtering facepiece respirators or dust masks, they are designed for a very close facial fit and are often used widely in healthcare facilities, construction and metal fabrication industries. They work by purifying particles in the air as you breath. The difference in these particulate respirators are as follows:
- Surgical Masks– designed to prevent exposure of patients to the wearer’s saliva and respiratory secretions. Do not protect against particle or chemical exposure.
- P1 rated respirators– retain about 80% of particles smaller than 2 micrometres. Protects against low levels of dust.
- P2 rated respirators– retain about 94% of particles smaller than 0.5 micrometre. Protect against mechanically generated particles, but also protect against mists, fumes and vapours arising from jobs such as welding, spraying, painting and garden dusting.
- P3 rated respirators– retain about 99.95% of particles smaller than 0.5Protects against dusts containing: beryllium, antimony, arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, nickel, radium, strychnine, radioactive particles.
- N95 rated respirators– This mask is almost identical to the P2 rated masks, however the N95 classification means the mask complies with USA testing requirements