Use the MSDS/SDS for guidance on requirements of the particular respiratory hazard. The CSA Standard Selection, Use and Care of Respirators Z94.4-11 outlines a respirator selection decision logic model in more detail.
While NIOSH has been certifying and conducting research for decades to assure that particulate respirators provide predictable levels of exposure reduction, engineered nanoparticles present new challenges. For example, the current NIOSH certification test for filtration performance (to determine whether a respirator is at least 95, 99, or 99.97% efficient) uses a broad range of particles, including a significant number of nanoparticles, but only measures particles larger than ~100 nm in size penetrating through the filter. In general, because of the challenges in generating and measuring nanoparticles, little research had been done to assess nanoparticle filter penetration and leakage around the face seal area of the respirator. In particular, concerns had been raised that due to their small size, engineered nanoparticles would penetrate through respirators at higher rates than larger particles (so called “thermal rebound” effects).
3M offers a wide range of particulate respirators, reusable respirators, powered and supplied air respirators suitable for a range of industrial and other applications.