What are respiratory protective devices (RPDs)?

A respiratory protective device (RPD), also known as a respirator, is a piece of safety equipment for personal protection. Respirators are designed to prevent the inhalation of contaminated air and belong in two main categories:

  • Air-purifying respirators:
    These respirators are designed to filter or clean contaminated air from the workplace before it is inhaled by the RPD wearer. They are available as either disposable respirators, or as non-disposable respirators with disposable filters.
  • Air-supplied respirators:
    These respirators deliver clean, breathable air from an independent source to the wearer. Air-supplied respirators are typically used for high-risk environments, such as oxygen-deficient atmospheres and confined spaces.
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