A P2 rating is widely considered to be desirable, but what does it actually mean? P2 (also known as N95) respirators are worn to protect against fine particles in the air. They are commonly used to reduce exposure to bushfire smoke, silica, asbestos, coal, lead dust, and disease. The N95 reference means that the respirator (or face mask) is rated to filter at least 95% of airborne particles.
P2 masks with exhalation valves allow the wearer to exhale more easily whilst preventing moisture build up. These types of respirators are suited to longer periods of wear and demanding work conditions. It is important to note that valved P2 respirators are not recommended for medical use – if the wearer is infected there is a greater likelihood that disease can be spread to others via the exhalation valve.
There is no clear answer as to how often you should change your P2 respirator. A good rule of thumb is to replace your P2 mask when breathing becomes difficult, or if you notice a change in smell or taste through the filter. This will be dependent on the wearer, usage, and conditions of the environment. Note that the efficiency of the filter deteriorates in the presence of oil or oil mists. Stratex P2 respirators are designed for comfort over long periods, and feature a pre-shaped nose cushion, contoured facial seal and dual straps for a secure fit.
Aside from the visual differences, there is very little difference in performance between cup and flat fold P2 respirators. Storage footprint will be lower with a flat fold, making them ideal for tucking inside a helmet or glovebox. Ultimately it boils down to your own personal preference. Some people prefer cup respirators because of the added space between the mask and the wearer’s face.
Stratex offers a range of protective head and face wear solutions, for more information contact us on 1300 991 180 or email email@example.com.