NIOSH RESPIRATOR FILTER CLASSES
NIOSH respirator filter classes focus on the filtering media in respirators based on its resistance to oil and its particle filtering efficiency. The resistance to oil is designated as “N”, “R”, or “P”. The particle filtering efficiency is designated “95”, “99”, or “99.97”
Important steps to follow when using NIOSH – approved N95?
How to identify Niosh filter classes?
NOT RESISTANT TO OIL
N95, N99, N100 Filters at least 95%, 99%, or 99.97% of airborne particles
SOMEWHAT RESISTANT TO OIL
R95, R99, R100 Filters at least 95%, 99%, or 99.97% of airborne particles
STRONGLY RESISTANT TO OIL/OIL PROOF P95, P99, P100
Filters at least 95%, 99%, or 99.97% of airborne particles.
- OILS: When products containing oil (like fuel, lubricating or hydraulic oils, solvents, paints, and pesticides) are sprayed or used in processes producing aerosols or droplets, the oil component may become airborne.
HE (High-Efficiency Particulate Air)
Filters at least 99.97% of airborne particles. For use on PAPRs only. PAPRs use only HE filters
Markings and Approval Labels
When it comes to knowing if your respirator has a NIOSH approval, the label is important.
All NIOSH-approved respirators have an approval number. With few exceptions, the NIOSH approval number is not on the respirator itself, but on a separate NIOSH approval label which is found on, or within the packaging. The approval number is shown in red, and the protection is shown in blue, N95 on this example. The NIOSH approval number and approval label are your keys to identifying NIOSH-approved respirators. You may readily verify that respirator approvals are valid by checking the information links on the NIOSH Trusted-Source page, or in the NIOSH Certified Equipment List (CEL). Users are encouraged to self-subscribe to the NIOSH listserv service to receive User Notice email notifications concerning the status of respirator approvals and other relevant information.
Both an approval label and user instructions are supplied with all NIOSH-approved respirators. These documents, a single copy of which may accompany either a large or small package of respirators, should not be discarded before all of the respirators are used or discarded. In addition to the approval number, the NIOSH approval label contains contact information for the respirator manufacturer/supplier, cautions, and limitations for use, and directions for proper use. It is very important to read and follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions for the particular respirator that you are using.