Questions? Call Us: 1 800 984 822     

P1, P2, P3 and Gas/Vapour Filter Classifications - Know the different Respiratory Protection Levels!

Classification of Respiratory Filters

Do you know the difference between P1, P2 and P3 respiratory filter classifications?

First  identify the contaminant that you will be working with.
When choosing your RPE, your respirator needs to have capabilities against the physical form of the contaminant. 
Are you working with:
  • Particles
    • Dust / Fibres - Particles generated by mechanical means such as crushing, cutting and sanding. 
      • Examples include: calcium carbonate, cement (silica) dust, sulphur, coal, clay, ferrous metals (steel, stainless steel, cast iron), wood dust and asbestos
    • Mists - Airborne droplets of liquid usually formed by condensation of a vapour or by splashing, spraying or atomising. 
      • Examples include: oil mists, acid mists, condensation of water vapour to form fog and paint mist
    • Fumes - Fine particles usually less than 1.0μm in diameter, formed from a volatilised solid that has condensed in cool air. Fumes are often associated with molten metals especially in welding practices. 
      • Examples include: welding, soldering and bushfire smoke 
  • Gases - Formless fluids that expand and occupy the space in which they are confined (e.g. a room)
      • Examples include: nitrogen, oxygen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide
  • Vapour - The gas form of a substance which is usually in the form of a solid or liquid when at room temperature and pressure. 
      • Examples include: methylene chloride, toluene and mineral spirits. 
Particulates require a filter web and gasses & vapours require sorbents to 'soak' up the contaminant. (Different gases and vapours require different sorbents).

Second you need to determine if you are working with mechanically generated particles, thermally generated particles or gas and vapour concentration. Knowing this will allow you to choose the correct RPE to ensure you are completely protected against the known contaminants. 
The tables below helps establish suitable RPE for the minimum required protection factor.

Mechanically Generated Particles

Required Minimum Protection Factor

Suitable RPE

Up to 10

P1, P2 or P3 filter half facepiece – replaceable filter

P1 or P2 disposable facepiece

PAPR – P1 filter in PAPR with any head covering or facepiece

Up to 50

P2 filter in full facepiece

PAPR – P2 filter in PAPR with any head covering or full facepiece

PAPR – P3 filter in PAPR with any head covering

Half facepiece with positive pressure demand or continuous flow air-line

Half facepiece – air-hose RPE with electric blower

Up to 100

P3 filter in full facepiece

Full facepiece air-hose (hose mask) natural breathing type

100+

PAPR – P3 filter in PAPR with full facepiece or head covering and blouse

Head covering air-hose with electric blower

Head covering air-line respirator – continuous flow

Full facepiece air-line respirator – positive pressure demand or continuous flow modes

Full facepiece air-hose with electric blower


Thermally Generated Particles

Required Minimum Protection Factor

Suitable RPE

Up to 10

P2 or P3 filter half facepiece – replaceable filter

P2 disposable facepiece

Up to 50

P2 filter in full facepiece

PAPR – P2 filter in PAPR with any head covering or full facepiece

PAPR – P3 filter in PAPR with any head covering

Half facepiece with positive pressure demand or continuous flow air-line

Half facepiece – air-hose RPE with electric blower

Up to 100

P3 filter in full facepiece

Full facepiece air-hose (hose mask) natural breathing type

100+

PAPR – P3 filter in PAPR with full facepiece or head covering and blouse

Head covering air-hose with electric blower

Head covering air-line respirator – continuous flow

Full facepiece air-line respirator – positive pressure demand or continuous flow modes

Full facepiece air-hose with electric blower


Gas and Vapour Concentration

Required Minimum Protection Factor

Maximum Gas/Vapour Concentration Present in Air p.p.m. (by volume)


Suitable RPE

Up to 10

1 000

Class AUS, 1, 2 or 3 filter with half facepiece – replaceable filter or disposable facepiece

Class PAPR-AUS, PAPR-1 or PAPR-2 filters in PAPR with any head covering or facepiece

Up to 50

1 000

Class AUD or Class 1 filter with full facepiece

Up to 50

5 000

Half facepiece air-line respirator with positive demand – or continuous flow

Half facepiece air-hose, with electric blower

Up to 100

5 000

Class 2 filter with full facepiece

Class PAPR-2 filters, with full facepiece PAPR

Up to 100

10 000

Class 3 filter with full face respirator

Full facepiece air-line respirator – negative pressure demand

SCBA negative pressure demand

Full facepiece air-hose (air mask) natural breathing type

100+

 

Full facepiece, head covering or air-supplied suit with air-line respirator – positive pressure demand or continuous flow

SCBA positive pressure demand

Full facepiece air-hose with electric blower



Third you need to determine the respirator that meets the required classification for the work being carried out. 
  • Particulate Filters - Particulate filters (dust, mist, fume and smoke) are classified according to their ability during a test to filter different sizes particles as defined in AS/NZS 1716:2012.
    • Class P1 Filters
      • P1 filters protect against mechanically generated particles. P1 filters are available as the powered type, replaceable filter type and disposable type. 
    • Class P2 Filters
      • P2 filters protect against mechanically or thermally generated particles (or both). P2 filters are available as the powered type, replaceable filter type and disposable type. 
    • Class P3 Filters
      • P3 filters are to protect against highly toxic or irritant particles. P3 filters are available as the powered type and replaceable filter type. 
      • To achieve P3 filter classification a FULL FACEPIECE is required (for non powered air), OR a HEAD COVERING or FULL FACEPIECE for a Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR).
      • Note: When a P3 filter is used in conjunction with a half facepiece, the protection level is equivalent to a P2 filter

Class

Efficiency

Penetration

Application

P1

80% (Particles to 1μm micron = 0.001mm size)

Not more than 20%

Dusts

P2

94% (Particles to 0.3μm micron = 0.0003mm size)

Not more than 6%

Toxic dusts, including welding fumes and asbestos

P3

99.95% (Particles to <0.3μm micron =less than 0.0003mm size)

Not more than 0.05%

Toxic dusts including asbestos, welding fumes (Only achieved with PAPR or Full Face)


Gas Filters - Classes for gas filters are distinguished by how much gas they're able to absorb.
Gas filters are classified by one of the following classes:
  • Class AUS - low absorption capacity filters
  • Class 1 - low to medium absorption capacity filters
  • Class 2 - medium absorption capacity filters
  • Class 3 - high absorption capacity filters

Class

Efficiency

Application

A (All classes)

Organic Vapours

Solvents (with boiling point above 65°C)

B AUS of B1

Acid gases

Chlorine/sterilization of water; chemical manufacture; hydrogen chloride/chlorinated organic chemical manufacture; steel pickling

B2

Acid gas and hydrogen cyanide (HCN)

Plastics manufacture; gold ore refining

B3

Acid gas and hydrogen cyanide (HCN)

HCN fumigation

E

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)

SO2 /casting of metals; bleach manufacture; manufacture of sulfuric acid; fertiliser manufacture; metal cleaning; petroleum refining

G

Agricultural Chemicals

Low vapour pressure (below 1.3Pa at 25°C) organic vapours, pesticide spraying, mixing, manufacture

K

Ammonia (NH3)

NH3/refrigeration; manufacture of fertilisers, explosives, plastics; low boiling point amines/chemical manufacture

Hg

Mercury

Metallic mercury/chemical industry; inorganic mercury compounds

NO

Oxides of Nitrogen

Oxides of Nitrogen

MB

Methyl Bromide

Fumigation

AX

Low boiling point organic compounds (below 65oC)

As specified by the manufacturer, e.g. dimethyl ether, vinyl chloride

Specific Chemical Type

Specific Chemical Name

For use against specific chemicals not falling in the above type description as specified by the manufacturer, e.g. hydrogen fluoride


A

Organic Vapours (boiling point >65oC)

 

B

Inorganic Gases

 

E

Acid Gases

 

K

Ammonia

 

Hg

Mercury

 

G

Organic Compounds w/ Low Vapour Pressure



Is there anything we missed? 
If you require any further information regarding respiratory protection and RPE please contact us.

The information provided above is intended as a guide to assist you with RPE. 

ABL Distribution offers Australia wide distribution of all respirators and masks.

In many areas of Brisbane, Logan, Gold Coast, Tweed and Northern NSW, ABL offers free delivery. 
         A           Organic Vapours (boiling point >65ºC)                           
Inorganic Gases   
E Acid Gases  
K Ammonia  
Hg  Mercury  
G Organic Compounds with Low Vapour Pressures
         A           Organic Vapours (boiling point >65ºC)                           
Inorganic Gases   
E Acid Gases  
K Ammonia  
Hg  Mercury  
G Organic Compounds with Low Vapour Pressures
Loading...
live chat service provider