Full & Half Face Mask respirators protect the wearer from inhaling hazardous vapors, gases and fumes. Full face respirators protect the face as well as the eyes, and filter out contaminants with the help of cartridges or filters, which should be changed regularly in order to ensure effective protection of the wearer. In certain circumstances, full-face respirators supplying clean air from an outside source are used. The need for full face respirators is determined by the contaminants a worker may be exposed to in the course of their work.
The type of respirator and cartridge used is determined by means of a risk assessments. Respirator cartridges are color-coded according to the type of contaminant that they are designed to filter out. Expiry dates indicate when cartridges should be changed, but when workers are exposed to high concentrations of contaminants, cartridges may have to be changed more frequently. Where possible, engineering measures that reduce the level of contaminants should be applied, but when it is not possible to reduce atmospheric contamination to safe levels, respirators should be used.