Respirators are typically mistaken for gas masks due to their analogous structure, but there are a couple of differences. A gas mask covers the whole face; its form is similar to that of a diver's mask. In contrast, a respirator covers only the nose and mouth in situations where the eyes do not require as much protection as the mouth, nose, and lungs; however, there are types of respirators with eye protection.
Respirators are needed in work places where air pollution is a typical occurrence. Construction sites are examples of these, and construction laborers require sufficient protection from work-related disorders while keeping full use of their eyesight. Respirators are also required by traffic law enforcers, crossing guards, and security guards who patrol indoor parking areas, where gas fumes can become concentrate.
Respirators developed from simple face masks that covered only the mouth and nose. These are made from a permeable material that permits the user to breathe while keeping out airborne toxins. Succeeding advancements in the design have made respirators more efficient for use.
There are also products called "visitor's masks" that advantageous for periodic users. Such individuals may need to go to polluted sites on occasion. These masks are low-maintenance, meaning that the respirators are lightweight and comfortable to wear. These North respirators can be used in environments where little friction can create abrasion on the face and respirator.
A North respirator can vary in size; it comes in small, medium, or large, to fit the head and face shape of a user. However, these respirators are identical in design and make; the respirator is mostly built with silicone, which makes the respirator airtight. No polluted air can penetrate through the facepiece except through the filter that keeps out airborne contaminants.
The North full face respirator also has a covering over the eyes to protect it from dust and fragments. However, these are still classified respirators instead of gas masks because these are much simpler in design. The structure of the respirator inhibits the individual from taking in air that is already exhaled, so there are no problems or concerns about breathing in carbon dioxide. For more details, visit CDC. gov/NIOSH/topics / respirators /.
A Short Handbook to Understanding Respirators