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Elements of the Respiratory Protection Program
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Medical Screening and Fit-Testing Procedures Required Before Using a Respirator
Fumes–Very small particles (1 micrometer or less)  formed  by  the  condensation  of  volatilized  solids, usually metals. Fumes are produced from the welding, brazing,  and  cutting  of  metals. Gas–A material that under normal conditions of temperature and pressure tends to occupy the entire space  uniformly.  Such  material  includes  hydrogen sulfide gas from the collection, holding, and transfer system; acid gas from battery charging; and ammonia gas from deck stripping. Gases are usually invisible and sometimes  odorless. Mist  and  Fog–Finely  divided  liquid  droplets suspended in air and generated by condensation or atomization. A fog is a mist of enough concentration to obscure vision. Mists are produced when you spray solutions such as paint and spray cleaners. Smoke–Carbon or soot particles less than 0.1 micrometer in size resulting from the incomplete com- bustion of carbonaceous materials such as coal or oil. Vapor  (inorganic  or  organic)–The  gaseous  state of a substance that is normally a liquid or solid at room temperature. Vapors are produced by fuels, paints and thinners,  solvent  degreasers,  hydraulic  fluids,  and dry-cleaning  fluids. Knowing what types of air contaminants these terms refer to is critical to the proper selection of respirators. For  example,  many  people  believe  that  paint  gives  off fumes.  Fumes is  a  common  term  used  to  describe  any smells  in  the  air.  However,  fumes  are  actually  a condensed particle of vaporized metal given off during welding or cutting. If you select a respirator labeled Dust,  Mist  and  Fumes  to  protect  you  from  paint vapors, you will not be protected. Respirator cartridges are labeled as to the type of protection they provide. The workplace monitoring plan or the industrial hygiene survey will pinpoint those areas and processes that require respirators. Since most ships carry few exotic  chemicals  and  have  limited  heavy  industrial work, they don’t need a great variety of respirators or cartridges.  Ashore,  extensive  industrial  work  may require an activity to have a greater selection and variety of  respirators. Identify Various Types of Respirators You should be familiar with the three basic types of respirators: air-purifying,   supplied-air,   and self-contained.  An  air-purifying respirator removes air contaminants  by  filtering,  absorbing,  adsorbing,  or Figure  5-7.—Cartridge-type  respirator. chemical  reaction.  This  respirator  may  be  disposable  or have a disposable prefilter on a cartridge (fig. 5-7). You can only use the air-purifying respirator when the  adequate  oxygen  (19.5  to  23.5  percent  by  volume) is available and the contaminant level is not immediately dangerous   to   life   or   health   (IDLH).   We   classify air-purifying respirators as follows: Particulate-removing–These respirators have filters  that  remove  dusts,  mists,  fumes,  and smokes by physically trapping the material on the filter surface. Gas-  and  vapor-removing–These  respirators have  cartridges  that  absorb  or  chemically  bind vapor or gas within the cartridge. Combination particulate and gas- and vapor- removing–These respirators are a combination of the preceding two types of respirators. They are required   when   you   have   a   combination   of materials such as a particle (mist) and a vapor. Since these air-purifying respirators are negative- pressure respirators, they can only be used with air contaminants that have good warning properties, such as odor or taste. Warning properties indicate when the mask is leaking or the cartridge is used up. The supplied-air respirator  provides  breathing  air independent  of  the  environment.  You  must  wear  this type of respirator when the following conditions exist: 1. Contaminant does not have enough odor, taste, or irritating warning properties 5-19

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