When using a respirator whether powered or disposable on the job, you will need to replace your filters consistently to not only ensure that you are being protected adequately from the particles/vapors but also to ensure that you do not cause further damage to your motors (if using a powered respirator).
Here are our three tips for when to change filters:
There is no one time fits all:
One question we get asked most frequently here at Peke is "how long will a filter last?".
Unfortunately there is no one time fits all answer to this question as it depends on frequency of use, the level of exposure in the environment, and what you are exposing yourself to. Filters work like a strainer, trapping particles out of the air. When the filter fills up with these particles, the filter is no longer functioning. Filter cartridges designed for combination use of particulates and gases/vapors work like a sponge as they absorb hazardous vapors from the air along with particles. Once the filters have absorbed all they can, the vapors start passing through.
Simple answer: when the filter looks dirty, the air flow indicator is showing lower air flows, or you are starting to smell or taste fumes; its time to change your filters.
The P2 filters are a great example. The more particulates you are exposed to, the faster they will fill with dust and the sooner you will have to replace it. We have some customers changing P2 filters on their Powercap Active every month, while others are changing every 2-3 months. It is imperative to change these filters out consistently to avoid stress on the motor. The air flow indicator included in the Powercap will help you check how efficient your filters are each use.
For tight fitting respirators:
A tight fitting respirator is designed to only work well if it is fitted approximately to your face. Those requiring a fit test cannot have any facial hair between the mask and face. If there is a gap, particles and toxins could easily slip inside the face mask, taking the easy way in avoiding filters and cartridges. It is important to make sure your respirator fits properly with a fit test. When in doubt, always ask a safety manager to perform a fit test.
It is a good idea to always have an extra set or two of filters on hand at all times, especially if you find yourself working in high concentrations of particles and vapors.
You can replace your filters easily, but you cannot replace your lungs.
Read our filter timeline guide:
Check out our article on when to change your filters based on your product for suggested timelines.
stay safe out there.