When does a filter have to be changed?
The service life of dust filters depends on many factors – in particular, the concentration of harmful substances, ambient humidity and temperature, as well as the breathing capacity of the user. The end of the service life of gas filters or combination filters that protect against gases can be detected by smell, taste or irritation when inhaling. The end of the useful life of particle filters or combination filters that protect against particles can be detected by increased inhalation resistance. You should use particle filters used for protection against radioactive materials, spores, bacteria, viruses and proteolytic enzymes only once, irrespective of the degree of saturation. AX filters for protection against organic gases and vapours should not be used for longer than one shift (i.e. eight hours). An expiry date is printed on all filters or their packaging. The filters are no longer usable as protection against hazardous substances from that point in time or six months after the original packaging has been opened at the latest.
Is there a limit to how long you can wear breathing protection devices?
An exact wear period is determined by an activity-related risk assessment in which a medical doctor should also be involved. The employer should take technical and organisational measures to restrict as far as possible the burden of harmful substances. Breathing protection must therefore be as strong as necessary, whereas the burden – such as the weight of the device – should be as low as possible.
Are employees allowed to wear full-face masks with beards?
Beards can produce gaps around the sealing lines. People with beards are therefore not suitable for wearing full-face masks. Tests found that either air flowed into the full-face mask from the atmosphere or flowed outwards from inside through the gaps. Firstly, if the ambient air were polluted with poison, an employee would suffer harm. Secondly, the outgoing air induces hypothermia to the affected skin areas.