PAPR100—A New Class of Powered Air-Purifying Respirator

July 28, 2021 | Evaluations & Guidance


Powered air-purifying respirators, or PAPRs, are a form of personal protective equipment (PPE) used to prevent the wearer from inhaling airborne particulates and gases or vapors from the environment. They are used in a variety of industries and offer a high level of protection for the wearer; but PAPRs have drawbacks that, to date, have limited their acceptance and adoption by healthcare personnel. That may be changing. Updated regulations are sparking development of a new class of products—PAPR100s—that are better suited to healthcare applications because they will be lighter and less bulky, and will incorporate other features beneficial for healthcare applications.

PAPRs typically consist of a loose-fitting disposable hood or a face shield, inflow and exhaust ports, filters, a blower for moving air through the system, and a wearable battery pack. During use, the blower pulls air through attached filters to purify the air before delivering it to the wearer's breathing zone.

The benefits of PAPRs include a low breathing resistance and a high level of protection. These respirators can be used to protect against gases, vapors, particles, or aerosols if equipped with the appropriate filter.

PAPRs are generally more protective than non-powered half-mask respirators, such as N95s, because the blower creates positive pressure inside the facepiece under most work conditions. This positive pressure reduces inward leakage of potentially contaminated air. The PAPR also offers built-in eye protection. In healthcare settings, PAPRs are most often used when the risk...

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