5 great reasons to upgrade to a welding powered air respirator (PAPR)

Article By: Team AWS

What is powered air?

A Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) is a portable, belt-mounted filtration system designed to effectively protect the welder from workplace respiratory hazards by removing harmful welding fumes. The use of powered air respirators by welders around Australia and New Zealand has peaked in recent times, but why are welders upgrading? We take a look at 5 reasons you should consider upgrading your welding helmet to a welding helmet with PAPR.



1. Welding fume is now a known carcinogen

We’re sure that by now you have heard of or know about the harmful effects of welding fume on the human body. In 2017, welding fume was reclassified from ‘possibly carcinogenic to humans’ to ‘carcinogenic to humans’ by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Many welders have always agreed that toxic fumes can’t be good for you, but this finding now confirms it. Welding unprotected CAN cause cancer. By using a PAPR while you weld, you can protect your lungs by filtering out nasty welding fumes. This means you can breathe easier knowing you are protected!



2. Superior protection

So, you’ve read the point above, and you probably already use respiratory protection under your welding helmet. But did you know that using a PAPR can give you up to 5 x the level of respiratory protection offered by disposable or reusable respirator masks?

The Adflo PAPR has a Required Minimum Protection Factor (RMPF) of 50, meaning that the air the welder breathes in will be 50 x cleaner than they would otherwise breathe in unprotected. To put this in perspective, a disposable or reusable respirator has an RMPF of 10.

RMPF comparison



3. You can keep your beard!

It may surprise you to hear that if you are a proud beard owner and are required to wear a disposable or reusable respirator at work, you may not be getting the respiratory protection you think you are. Negative pressure tight-fitting respirators such as disposable or reusable respirators require the welder to be clean-shaven where the respirator’s sealing surfaces touch their face. Gents, this means as impressive as your mo, goatee or mutton chops are, they could be compromising your health. The good news: with powered air respiratory protection, you’re free to let the facial hair flow thanks to the positive pressure keeping the pollutants at bay.



4. Cool and comfortable welding

A steady stream of cool, clean air is delivered to the welder’s breathing zone, helping to keep the welder more comfortable in hot and humid conditions. Breathing is made easier as the user no longer needs to pull air through a hot, sweaty filter. Instead of a hot and wet filter on your face, you are free to breathe in your own comfortable environment.



5. The 9100XXi series with powered air is feature packed

The Speedglas 9100XXi range with Adflo PAPR gives you award-winning protection with your choice of three feature-packed welding helmets. Choose from the Speedglas 9100XXi Air with external grind mode, Speedglas 9100 FX Air with a flip-up grinding visor or the 9100 MP Air with a built-in safety helmet. The Speedglas 9100XXi series all feature True-View optics, Auto-On and industry-leading arc detection down to 1 amp.



 

Explore the Speedglas Powered Air Respirator range

Read more about the reclassification of welding fume