United States
                          Environmental Protection Agency
                          Design for the Environment, Auto Refinishing Shop Project
            EPA 744-F-00-006
November 1999, Revised June 2000

       To stay healthy, painters should wear a supplied-air respirator when spraying paints containing highly toxic
chemicals such as isocyanates. In fact, some paint manufacturers say painters must wear supplied-air respirators
when spraying isocyanate-containing paints. Although painters have complained that conventional supplied-air
respirators lack comfort, visibility, and convenience, the newer designs and models, like the ones presented in this
bulletin, are changing many painters' attitudes and behavior. Painters who have
tried the new models want supplied-air systems. They find these respirators very
comfortable -some are even air conditioned!-and, most importantly, they
consider supplied-air the best way to protect their health from the toxic
chemicals in paint coatings. DfE hopes that this bulletin helps you find a
supplied-air respirator that is right for you.  NOTE:  This guide provides insights
into some of the respiratory protection equipment presently available that may
be used by auto refmishers. It is not intended to be used as a respirator
selection guide

Loose-Fitting Hood Supplied-Air Respirators
Loose-fitting hoods are light-weight, low-maintenance (most are equipped with
                                    disposable visor covers), and offer a
                                    wide field-of-vision. As with all  loose-
                                    fitting respirators, painters do not need
                                    a fit test to use the hood model—and
                                            ,     111             Picture courtesy of H.D. Bullard Co.
                                    can even have a beard and wear
                                    eyeglasses. In addition, loose-fitting hoods often provide the greatest
                                    cooling effect. (Prices range from $200 to $400.)
Picture courtesy of 3M
                                    Tight-Fitting Full-Facepiece Respirators
                                    Among supplied-air respirators, full-facepiece models typically provide the
                                    highest level of protection.  With some designs, the breathing tube and
                                    airline attach in back, away from the work zone.  Painters find that this
                                    rear-mount model helps prevent the
                                    airline from accidentally ruining the
                                    paint job.  To ensure a tight seal with
this type of respirator, painters need a fit-test and cannot have a beard or other
facial hair. Eyeglass mounts are available with most models. (Prices start at
about $500.)

Loose-Fitting Facepiece Respirators
Another popular supplied-air respirator has a flip-up visor, which allows the
painter to get a better view of the finish without removing the respirator.  This
model, a modified version of a loose-fitting hood, does not require fit testing and
can accommodate eyeglasses and some facial hair.  Painters using this respirator
must remember to lift the visor only after the ventilation system has exhausted all
paint overspray from the spray booth. (Prices range from $200 to $400.)

Are there any other considerations for using supplied-air respirators?
       Yes. Shop owners must decide what type of breathing air system they will
use for their supplied-air respirators.  In-line air filtration units and low-pressure
ambient air pumps are two common choices.
                                                                         Picture courtesy of SATA

                                                                                    Respirator Hood
In-line air filtration units convert your shop's existing high- pressure compressed air to clean breathable air. These units use
replaceable filters to remove contaminants from the compressed air stream. To meet Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) requirements for breathing air, the filtration units should be equipped with a carbon monoxide monitor.
Some systems can deliver air-conditioned or heated air, an attractive feature for painters. Of course, filters for these systems
need periodic changes, which increase their cost over time. (Prices for portable or wall-mounted units with carbon
monoxide monitors range from $1,300 to $4,000.)

                                             Low-pressure ambient air pumps differ from air filtration units in
                                             that they are electrically driven, oil-less compressors—and are
                                             usually placed in locations with fresh air away from work areas.
                                             Unlike other compressors, oil-less ambient air pumps typically do
                                             not require filters (other than a small inlet filter) or high-
                                             temperature alarms, if installed in a contaminant-free area (away
                                             from exhaust, chemicals, etc.). These systems can also be used
                                             when the shop's air compressor lacks the capacity to feed
                                             equipment and respirators. (Prices start at about $600 for one-
                                             worker units and $1,700 for two-worker units.)

                                             Do supplied-air respirators need to be approved or certified?
Picture courtesy of H.D. Bullard Co.
                                             OSHA's Respiratory
Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134) requires that employers select only
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-certified
respirators.  This OSHA standard further states that employers may not modify
the respirator system or change/mix any of its components.  Supplied-air
respirators typically consist of the following four parts: facepiece or hood,
breathing tube,  flow control device, and air supply hose. Some models may
include other components.  To meet NIOSH certification, all respirator
systems must be complete and properly assembled.

Where Can I Get Additional Information About Supplied-Air

Contact NIOSH at 1-800-3 5-NIOSH or visit their web  site:
www. cdc.gov/niosh.
Contact the  OSHA Area Office near you or visit the OSHA web site:
Contact local manufacturers and distributors about respirators: some may
provide free services or demonstrations of their products.  Information on
respirators and  the location of distributors is also available on manufacturers'
home pages on  the Internet.
Consult with Mary Cushmac (202-260-4443, cushmac.marv@,epa.gov^ or David DiFiore (202- 260-3374,
                        difiore.david@epa.gov) of the DfE Project Team.
                                                                                Supplied-Air Respirator Component Schematic
 Design for Hie Environment
         y Shop Project
                        The mention or illustration of any product or company does not constitute an endorsement by the U.S.
                        Environmental Protection Agency.