7.0 Maintenance and Care of Respirators

The primary responsibility for maintaining the respirator in proper and clean condition rests with the employee. Minor repair and/or adjustment may be made on the spot; major repairs require removing respirator from service.

7.1 Inspection for Defects

7.1.1. Examine the face piece for:

7.1.1.a.

Excessive dirt

7.1.1.b.

Cracks, tears, holes, or physical distortion of shape

7.1.1.c.

Inflexibility of the face piece

7.1.1.d.

Cracked or badly scratched lenses in full face pieces

7.1.1.e.

Missing mounting clips, badly worn threads or missing gaskets, if required.

7.1.2. Examine the head straps or head harness for:

7.1.2.a.

Breaks

7.1.2.b.

Loss of elasticity

7.1.2.c.

Broken or malfunctioning buckles in attachments

7.1.2.d.

Excessive wear on attachments

7.1.2.e.

Excessive wear on head harness which might permit slippage

7.1.3 Examine the exhalation valve for the following after removing its cover:

7.1.3.a.

Foreign material such as detergent residue, dust, or human hair

7.1.3.b.

Cracks, tears, pinholes, or distortions in the valve material

7.1.3.c.

Improper insertion of valve body in face piece

7.1.3.d.

Missing or defective valve cover

7.1.3.e.

Improper installation of valve in the valve body

7.1.4 Examine the air purifying element for:

7.1.4.a.

Correct cartridge, canister, or filter for the hazard.

7.1.4.b.

Incorrect installation, loose connections, missing or worn gasket or cross threading in the holder

7.1.4.c.

Expired shelf life date on the cartridge or canister.

7.1.4.d.

Cracks or dents in the outside case of the filter, cartridge, or canister

7.1.5 If the device has a corrugated breathing tube, examine it for:

7.1.5.a.

Broken or missing end connectors.

7.1.5.b.

Missing or loose hose clamps.

7.1.5.c.

Deterioration, determined by stressing the tube and looking for cracks.

7.1.6 Examine the harness of the front or back mounted gas mask for:

7.1.6.a.

Damage or wear to the canister holder.

7.1.6.b.

Broken harness straps for fastening

7.2 Cleaning

7.2.1

Respirators, whether used routinely or for emergencies, must be cleaned and disinfected by the employee on a regular basis. As a minimum, respirator cleaning should take place on a weekly basis following use, and more frequently as conditions of use warrant. Remove filters, cartridges, or canisters.

7.2.2

Disassemble facepieces by removing speaking diaphragms, valve assemblies, hoses, or other components.

7.2.3

Wash components in warm (110° F maximum) water with a mild detergent or with a cleaner recommended by the manufacturer.

7.2.4

A stiff bristle (not wire) brush may be used to facilitate the removal of dirt.

7.2.5

Rinse components thoroughly in clean, warm, preferably running water. Drain. It is important to thoroughly rinse because detergents that dry on facepieces may result in dermatitis or may cause deterioration of rubber if not completely removed.

7.2.6

Components should be hand-dried with a clean lint-free cloth or air-dried in a clean place free from contamination.

7.2.7

Reassemble the face piece and place the respirator in a sealed container for storage.

7.3 Storage

Respirators shall be stored to protect against dust, sunlight, heat, extreme cold, excessive moisture or damaging chemicals.

7.3.1

Respirators must be placed in sealed plastic bags or other suitable containers and stored in a location that prevents damage and/or contamination.

7.3.2

Respirators should be packed or stored so that the face piece and exhalation valve will rest in a normal position and function will not be impaired by either of these setting in an abnormal position.