Why wear a pesticide respirator?
Dangers of phytosanitary products, agrochemicals and plant protection substances
Pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, chemical fertilizers and other plant protection products require particular attention when using them. Indeed, these synthetic products or natural compounds are often very dangerous for health. Each year many poisonings happen with serious consequences. Pesticide products can cause skin allergies and respiratory system irritation (asthma, breathing difficulties, etc.). Finally, recurrent exposure to plant protection products can create chronic intoxication with possible consequences on health (cancer, child cancer, reproductive system dysfunction, etc.). Any phytosanitary treatment therefore requires taking of precautions and especially the use of PPE (personal protective equipment). Mask, gloves, protective coveralls and the use of a respirator mask can constitute protection against the harmful effects of these products.
The essential respiratory protective mask
In order to protect your health, the use of a pesticide respirator is essential when applying crop protection products, weed killers, fungicides and other chemical-based interventions. Farmers and workers involved in pesticides treatments must be equipped with a filtering phytosanitary mask better known as a gas mask. Half masks are amongst the best known masks and most often used in agriculture (the 3M phytosanitary mask for example). However the use of a full face mask also provides face and eyes protection against dangerous products projections.
Whether used as a respirator for weed killers, as an pesticides protective mask or as a pesticide respirator, these gas masks must be associated to the proper filtering cartridge – selected based on the phytosanitary products used.
Filter cartridge for pesticides respirators
Dual filter or single filter, a phytosanitary treatment mask requires a filtering cartridge made using activated carbon. The respiratory protection cartridge will filter polluted ambient air and thus protect its user from any intoxication and harmful effects resulting from the use of these products. The choice of a phytosanitary mask cartridge is based on the type of products to which people are exposed. Depending on the product composition it will be necessary to use an A2P3 or AXP3 cartridge.
Combined A2P3 cartridges, that filter on one hand dust, and the other organic gases and vapors (with a boiling point above 65°C), are the cartridges most commonly used in phytosanitary treatments. A2P3 filters prevent farmers and workers from inhaling toxic substances present in plant protection products. The A2P3 combined filters are available as bayonet filters and RD DIN40 universal filters.
Depending on the composition of the crop protection products used during treatments, a combined AXP3 cartridge can be used. This type of cartridge makes it possible to be protected against particles, dusts, gases and vapors and organic compounds having a boiling point below 65°C. AXP3 filter cartridges for phytosanitary protective masks are available as RD DIN 40 universal thread filters.
Powered air purifying respirator for agrochemical treatments
Long hours and difficult work in the presence of crop protection products require additional precautions. A powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) is an ideal solution for this type of situation. Associated with the appropriate cartridges, a powered air purifying respirator mask brings a constant flow of filtered air into the mask. Thus the breathing effort required by a conventional gas mask is not needed. Using a PAPR mask reinforces safety and comfort. The use of powered air purifying respirators during hazardous compounds crop protection treatments is recommended for work over several hours.