Industrial Hygiene

Respiratory Protection

Last Updated: October 23, 2018

​Army IH  provides subject matter expertise for the use of commercial and military respiratory protective equipment and respirator programs.

​Respiratory Protection:

A respirator is a protective device that covers the nose and mouth or the entire face or head to guard the wearer against hazardous atmospheres.

Respirators protect the employee in two basic ways. The first is by the removal of contaminants from the air. Respirators of this type include particulate respirators, which filter out airborne particles, and air-purifying respirators with cartridges/canisters which filter out chemicals and gases. Other respirators protect by supplying clean respirable air from another source. Respirators that fall into this category include airline respirators, which use compressed air from a remote source, and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), which include their own air supply. 



Role of Army IH in Respiratory Protection Programs:

The role of the IH may vary greatly depending on the Installation, Command and Orginization.

men in yellow tyvek with half face respirators

  •  The Army Respiratory Protection Program is flexible and dynamic. As a Commander's program, it was designed to ensure that the respiratory needs of the Army are met in all scenarios, from CONUS Installation operations to OCONUS theater situations. This flexibility means that the roles for Safety and IH are not specifically assigned, and will often be under the program that can best execute the respiratory protection mission.
  • IH may provide subject matter expertise for the use of commercial and military respiratory protective equipment and respirator programs.
  • IH may provide subject matter expertise for the use of commercial respirators in military specific applications as well as use of military respirators for chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals, and toxic industrial materials.
  • IH programs may be responsible for fit testing within their orginization.

For information on respirator use with chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals, and/or CBRN as it relates to respiratory protection, call 410-436-3118 or email usarmy.apg.medcom-aphc.mbx.industrial-hygiene-field-services-div@mail.mil




Army Regulations

These documents can be found by searching on the Army Publishing Directorate site:    Man with SCBA

  

Federal Regulations and Guidance

 - OSHA Respiratory Protection Resources

 - NIOSH Respiratory Protection