How long does a filter cartridge for respiratory protection last?

It is a question that users ask us on a regular basis and to which we are never able to give a direct answer, as the life of a filter cartridge for gases, vapours and fine particles is determined by different factors – factors that may also differ depending on the situation. Our respiratory protection specialist, Jan Willem de Winter, answers this question on the basis of an extensive Swedish study.

Mechanical filter material is considerably less sensitive to factors than electrostatic

The filter material used determines the life of filters for fine particles. Is it mechanical or electrostatic? After all, the properties are entirely different. Mechanical filter material is considerably less sensitive to factors such as air humidity, ambient temperature and age. In addition to efficiency, it is necessary to take the concentration of fine particles into account for both. The speed at which air flows through the filter material of the mask also has a major effect on filter efficiency, especially with electrostatic filters. An electrostatic filter becomes less efficient as it becomes full of fine particles, whereas a mechanical filter becomes more efficient as it becomes full.

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There are many misunderstandings about the life of carbon filters

Even more factors affect carbon filters, such as the boiling point of the gas or vapour and the combinations of different gases and/or vapours. There are many misunderstandings about the life of carbon filters. There are suppliers that claim a particular lifespan without taking detailed measurements at the workplace. You can read why this isn’t possible in a research report.

The Swedish Board of Occupational Health and Safety initiated the research published by manufacturer Sundström Safety AB. Our respiratory protection specialist, Jan Willem de Winter, supplemented the research report.

The research report can be requested using the request form below. The report will then be sent to you by e-mail.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions about respiratory protection or can we help you with something else? Feel free to call our specialists on 088 – 130 6030.

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