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What are the NIOSH N R P Respirator designations

What are the NIOSH N R P Respirator Designations?
 

N-series filters generally should be used and reused subject only to considerations of hygiene, damage, and increased breathing resistance. However, for dirty workplaces that could result in high filter loading (i.e., 200 mg), service time for N-series filters should only be extended beyond 8 hours of use (continuous or intermittent) by performing an evaluation in specific workplace settings that demonstrates: (a) that extended use will not degrade the filter efficiency below the efficiency level specified in Part 84, or (b) that the total mass loading of the filter(s) is less than 200 mg. These determinations would need to be repeated whenever conditions change or modifications are made to processes that could change the type of particulate generated in the user's facility.


R-series filters
should be used only for a single shift (or for 8 hours of continuous or intermittent use) when oil is present. However, service time for the R-series filters can be extended using the same two methods described above for N-series filters. These determinations would need to be repeated whenever conditions change or modifications are made to processes that could change the type of particulate generated in the user's facility.


P-series filters
should be used and reused in accordance with the manufacturer's time-use limitation recommendations when oil aerosols are present. P-series filters should be used and reused subject only to considerations of hygiene, damage, and increased breathing resistance if oil aerosols are not present.

The new Part 84 regulation provides for nine classes of filters (three levels of filter efficiency,† each with three categories of resistance to filter efficiency degradation‡). The three levels of filter efficiency are 95%, 99%, and 99.97%. The three categories of resistance to filter efficiency degradation are labeled N, R, and P. The class of filter will be clearly marked on the filter, filter package, or respirator box. For example, a filter marked N95 would mean an N-series filter that is at least 95% efficient. Chemical cartridges that include particulate filter elements will carry a similar marking that pertains only to the particulate filter element.

 

The new classes of non-powered particulate respirators require new decision logic for selection of the proper respirator. The selection process for using the new particulate classification is discussed fully in Section II (Detailed Guidelines for Use) and outlined as follows:

 

  1. The selection of N-, R-, and P-series filters depends on the presence or absence of oil particles, as follows:
    • If no oil particles are present in the work environment, use a filter of any series (i.e., N-, R-, or P-series).
    • If oil particles (e.g., lubricants, cutting fluids, glycerine, etc.) are present, use an R- or P-series filter. Note: N-series filters cannot be used if oil particles are present.
    • If oil particles are present and the filter is to be used for more than one work shift, use only a P-series filter.

 

Note: To help you remember the filter series, use the following guide:

 

  • N for Not resistant to oil,
  • R for Resistant to oil
  • P for oil Proof

 

Selection of filter efficiency (i.e., 95%, 99%, or 99.97%) depends on how much filter leakage can be accepted. Higher filter efficiency means lower filter leakage.

The choice of facepiece depends on the level of protection needed--that is, the assigned protection factor (APF) needed.