Which Respirator Filter Do I Need

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CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training

Summary Statement

A brief explanation of the type of respirator needed to protect against asbestos.

For your respirator, whether you need an N-, R-, or P-series filter depends on whether there are oil particles where you are working

  • If there are no oil particles in the work area, it's OK to use a filter of any series – N-, R-, or P-.
  • If there may be oil particles where you are working – for instance, in lubricants, cutting fluids, or glycerin – you cannot use an N filter. Use an R- or P- filter.
  • If there may be oil particles and the filter will be used for more than one work shift, use only a P- filter.

To help remember which filter to use, think of:

    N for Not resistant to oil,
    R for Resistant to oil
    P for oil Proof

This information is from the NIOSH website: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/respsumm.html*

The OSHA asbestos regulation is at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=10287.

Or, contact your local OSHA office, listed at http://www.oshaslc.gov/html/oshdir.html

*Since publication, this link is no longer active on the NIOSH site. You can find related information at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/96-101/