A powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) is a system that filters and cleans hazardous ambient air before delivering it to the wearer. PAPRs can use different filters to protect users from harmful particulates, vapors, and gases. They are used to protect many types of workers from contaminated air, including healthcare workers, utility and maintenance workers, those working in confined spaces, and first responders that may need to enter hazardous environments.


PAPRs control airflow since they’re equipped with a battery-powered blower that moves air through a series of filters or cartridges before it reaches the breathing zone. These cartridges and filters are designed to remove the target hazard from the air. Each type of cartridge will remove a specific type of hazard, such as those for vapor/gas protection. Many respirators may come with high efficiency particulate (HEPA) filters that remove disease-carrying bacteria from the air. These cartridges and filters will need to be replaced over time. 

Once the air has been decontaminated, the wearer receives a stream of filtered air through a breathing tube. The person may be able to control the flow of air based on their comfort level and how much airflow they need to do the job. Strenuous activities like running and lifting may require more oxygen as the person’s heart rate increases.  

Powered air purifying respirators are available with either a tight-fitting facepiece or a loose-fitting respiratory helmet or hood that covers the wearer’s entire head. Choosing between the two depends on the person’s comfort level. Individuals with facial hair will need to use hoods and helmets, as being clean shaven is an important part of getting a good mask seal. The tight-fitting facepiece should come with an adjustable strap, so the wearer can fit it to the exact shape of their face.

These respiratory protection systems offer comfortable, integrated protection against multiple hazards providing respiratory, head, face, eye, and hearing protection. They include several systems: EZ Air Max PAPR System, Versaflo PAPR System, Powerflow PAPR System, PAPR Battery Accessories, and Adflo PAPR System. Helmets and face shields, hoods and soft headtops, welding systems and replacement parts, and respirator accessories may also be a part of PAPR system. 

Workers should conduct a fit test before using PAPR systems in the field. During a respirator fit test, the wearer is exposed to a non-toxic gas that produces a strong odor. If the respirator is attached correctly, the wearer won’t be able to smell the gas. If they can detect the odor it means the respirator isn’t securely attached to their face. They will need to close any gaps between the seal and their face before venturing into the field.

We carry a wide range of respiratory protection systems at PK Safety. You can also find other related products such as respirator helmets, respirator kits, or airline respirators within our product line.