When did you last replace your filters?
Breathing filters do not last forever. Once a gas and moisture filter has used up its entire capacity, it does not provide protection any more. A soot filter used past its useful life will still protect you, but it will be difficult to breathe through it, leading to fatigue and reduced productivity.
Lifespan of a breathing filter
The lifespan of a filter can be affected by a number of factors, including the type of filter, the concentration of pollutants in the air, breathing rate, humidity and temperature. The best practice is to prepare a filter replacement schedule – a specified time period after which the filters must be replaced. This time period can best be set using objective data and a tool for estimating the lifespan, like the 3M Service Life Software. As an alternative, a filter replacement schedule can be developed at your workplace by taking into account typical breakthrough times for gas and vapour filters, or times to blockage for particle filters, and applying a margin of safety.
When to replace filters
Filters must be replaced at very least when:
- You can taste or smell the contaminant while wearing the mask correctly (gas and vapour or combination filters).
- It becomes more difficult to breathe through the filter (soot or combination filters).
- The filter’s expiry date has passed.
- The filter has been out of its packaging for six months or longer (gas and vapour or combination filters).
- The filter shows signs of damage.
Always check for any locally deviating regulations