Clinician with a respirator in the OR
Additional Respiratory Protection Options

Global demand for supplies used to protect front-line and health workers, such as N95 respirators, is currently exceeding available supply. There are additional respiratory protection options available. Learn what option may be right for you.

  • Clinician wearing a reusable respirator speaking with a patient
    Reusable Respirators

    Half facepiece reusable respirators may help protect from particles and other contaminates. Learn more and find key resources on use of this option.

  • Clinician wearing a PAPR speaking with a patient
    Powered Air Purifying Respirators

    PAPR systems can offer comfortable respiratory, head, face and eye protection.

  • Ford Limited-Use PAPR
    Ford Limited-Use Public Health Emergency PAPR

    Ford Motor Company– with consulting support from 3M – has developed a unique powered-air purifying respirator (PAPR) for use in reducing exposure to airborne particles. This PAPR is designed to quickly aid healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing constant filtered airflow.



Clinician wearing a respirator speaking with a patient
Reusable respirators

3M™ 6000 Series Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator Use

  • 3M™ 6000 Series Half Facepiece Respirator with 7093 Filter
    3M™ 6000 Series Half Facepiece Respiratory with 3M™ Particular Filter 7093 (P100)
  • 3M™ 6000 Series Half Facepiece Respirator with 5N11 Combination
    3M™ 6000 Series Half Facepiece Respiratory with 3M™ Particular Filter 5N11 (N95)
  • Interim Disinfection 3M™ 6000 Series Half Facepiece Respirator
    Interim Disinfection 3M™ 6000 Series Half Facepiece Respirator
  •  Submersion Disinfection 3M™ 6000 Series Half Facepiece Respirator
    Submersion Disinfection 3M™ 6000 Series Half Facepiece Respirator

Frequently asked questions on reusable respirators

  • How often do I need to change the elastomeric filter?

    3M particulate filters are enhanced with electrostatically charged fibers to help trap particulates within the filter media. As particles are collected on the filter media, the respirator will eventually become more difficult to breathe through comfortably.

    Replace 3M™ Particulate Filters when:
     

    • It becomes difficult to breathe comfortably (this will vary from individual to individual).
    • The filter becomes dirty or physical damage occurs.
    • The filter is wet or submerged.
    • Per facility’s infection control policy.

    3M does not recommend cleaning or disinfection of filter media (e.g., disc-style filters and pre-filter pads). However, some 3M filter products have a hard-plastic case surrounding the filter media, i.e., NIOSH part number 7093, filter adapter 603 and filter retainer 501. This hard case can be cleaned by wiping the outside surface with a damp cloth soaked in disinfecting solution. Do not allow the disinfecting solution to reach the internal filter media and do not submerge the hard-case filters in the disinfecting solution or water. Utilize the same disinfection solutions as recommended for 3M facepieces.

    Possible disinfection methods:
     

    • Sodium hypochlorite solution (at a free chlorine concentration of 5,000 ppm) with 1-minute contact time.
    • 70% Isopropanol solution with 5-minute contact time.

    Technical Bulletin for Cleaning and Disinfecting 3M Reusable Elastomeric half and full facepiece respirators following potential exposure to Coronaviruses (PDF, 1.25 MB)

  • Per 3M Product User Instructions for the 6000 Series and 6500 Series half facepiece respirators, cleaning is recommended after each use¹. Disinfection frequency will be based on your facility infection control policy but should also include guidance from OSHA that states “…respirators must be cleaned as often as necessary to prevent them from becoming unsanitary. In addition, respirators worn by more than one user must be cleaned and disinfected before being worn by a different user…” ².

    Cleaning refers to the removal of visible soil from objects and surfaces, and normally is accomplished manually or mechanically using water with detergents or enzymatic products. Disinfection is defined as a process that eliminates many or all pathogenic microorganisms. In general, cleaning and disinfecting consists of taking the respirator apart, washing it, disinfecting it, thoroughly rinsing it, and putting it back together when it is dry.

    The Lawrence (2017) article “Assessment of half-mask elastomeric respirator and powered air purifying respirator reprocessing for an influenza pandemic” defines reprocessing protocols and evaluates their effectiveness against a pandemic influenza strain in a laboratory setting. Wiping vs submersion of elastomeric respirators showed no significant difference between cleaned only vs cleaned and disinfected³. However, this is within a laboratory setting and individual user technique may vary.

    The Bessesen, et. al (2015) article discusses standard operating procedures (SOP) for cleaning and disinfection of reusable elastomeric respirators⁴. OSHA also outlines suggested cleaning SOP which discusses submersion of the facemask. Additionally, the technical bulletin noted below further discusses cleaning and disinfection options following exposure to coronaviruses⁵,⁶.

     

    1. 3M™ 6000 Series User Instructions: https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/96751O/3m-6000-series-half-facepiece-respirator-user-instructions.pdf (PDF, 1.07 MB)
    2. OSHA Maintenance and Care: https://www.osha.gov/video/respiratory_protection/maintenance_transcript.html
    3. Lawrence (2017): https://www.clinicalkey.com/service/content/pdf/watermarked/1-s2.0-S0196655317308520.pdf?locale=en_US&searchIndex=
    4. Bessesen (2015): https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0196655315000899
    5. OSHA Cleaning Procedures: https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910/1910.134AppB2
    6. 3M™ Technical Bulletin Cleaning and Disinfecting 3M Reusable Elastomeric Half and Full Facepiece Respirators following Potential Exposure to Coronaviruses: https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/1793959O/cleaning-and-disinfecting-3m-reusable-respirators-following-potential-exposure-to-coronaviruses.pdf (PDF, 1.25 MB)
  • The 3M™ 6000 Series Half Facepiece (6100, 6200, 6300) and 6500 Series (6501, 6502, 6503) respirators contain no components made from natural rubber latex.

  • No, a user seal check and fit test are different procedures.

    A user seal check is performed by the respirator wearer to determine if the respirator is being properly worn before each use. Employees required to wear tight-fitting respiratory protection in the workplace must perform a user seal check each time they put on their respirator as required by US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations¹. Air will take the path of least resistance, so if the seal is improperly maintained, there may be leak paths that allow the air to flow around the facepiece seal rather than through the filter(s) and therefore compromise the respiratory protection afforded to the user. A user seal check is only applicable when a respirator has already been successfully fit tested on the individual.

    To perform a user seal check on non-valved disposable particulate respirators²:
     

    • Completely cover the outside of the respirator with both hands (do not push the respirator against your face). With your hands in place on the surface of the respirator, exhale, or breathe out sharply. If you feel air leaking around the edge of the respirator or in your eyes, the respirator needs to be adjusted.   

    Here is a Wear it Right poster to visualize the process of donning and performing a seal check: https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/1448498O/wear-it-right-putting-on-your-respirator.pdf (PDF, 1.07 MB)

    A fit test helps ensure that the respirator is able to fit the wearer and provide a secure seal. Per OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard, 29 CFR 1910.134, every employee using a tight-fitting facepiece respirator must be fit tested prior to initial use of the respirator, whenever a different respirator facepiece (size, style, model or make) is used, and at least annually thereafter.

    Here is an example of a qualitative fit testing method, using 3M fit testing kits: https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/1658130O/quick-reference-guidequalitative-fit-testing.pdf (PDF, 650 KB)
     

    1. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (2014). Regulations (Standards-29 CFR)-Table of Contents. US Department of Labor. Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_id=12716&p_table=standards
    2. 3M™ Wear It Right: Putting on Your Respirator Brochure: https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/1448498O/wear-it-right-putting-on-your-respirator.pdf (PDF, 1.07 MB)
  • The CDC states “Elastomeric respirators with exhalation valves should not be used in surgical settings due to concerns that unfiltered air coming out of the exhalation valve, potentially contaminated with microbes, may contaminate the surgical field.”¹ Some N95 respirators may also feature an exhalation valve which is intended as a comfort feature to help release the wearer’s warm exhaled breath into the environment. It is important that this valve is recognized and then determined by the facility where these respirators are appropriate for use.
     

    1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/elastomeric-respirators-strategy/index.html
  • Reusable (elastomeric) respirators are not surgical masks as they are not cleared by FDA for fluid resistance or as medical devices to be used in surgical applications, per FDA regulations. The CDC states “Elastomeric respirators with exhalation valves should not be used in surgical settings due to concerns that unfiltered air coming out of the exhalation valve, potentially contaminated with microbes, may contaminate the surgical field.” ¹ Some N95 respirators may also feature an exhalation valve which is intended as a comfort feature to help release the wearer’s warm exhaled breath into the environment. It is important that this valve is recognized and then determined by the facility where these respirators are appropriate for use.
     

    1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/elastomeric-respirators-strategy/index.html
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Clinician wearing a PAPR speaking with a patient
Powered Air Purifying Respirators

Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR) Use Information

  • Donning and Doffing of Powered Air Purifying Respirator
    Donning and Doffing the 3M™ Versaflo™ TR-300+ PAPR System
  • How to assemble your 3M™ Versaflo™ TR-300 Powered Air Respirator System
    How to Assemble the 3M™ Versaflo™ TR-300+ PAPR System
  •  Cleaning and Disinfecting the 3M™ Versaflo™ TR-300+
    Cleaning and Disinfecting the 3M™ Versaflo™ TR-300+ PAPR System
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Ford Limited-Use Public Health Emergency PAPR

  • Ford Limited-Use PAPR
  • On Tuesday, April 14, Ford Motor Company began producing an all-new powered-air purifying respirator (PAPR) design, developed in collaboration with 3M. This personal protective equipment (PPE) will help protect healthcare professionals on the front-lines fighting COVID-19.

    This PAPR was rapidly designed and prototyped in accordance with federal guidelines and with 3M expert support and guidance in less than four weeks.

Contact us about respirator options: COVID-19 Technical Service

General information about PPE

  • Clinician wearing PPE speaking with a patient
    PPE Questions and Considerations

    We know you have questions related to PPE. We are here to provide guidance on the different types of PPE and its proper use.

  • Clinician wearing PPE speaking with a patient
    Optimization of PPE

    With supply challenges around the world, many facilities are looking to optimize their equipment.

  • Clinician wearing PPE with patient
    PPE and Skin Protection

    Explore some simple ways you can minimize skin breakdown from the extended use of PPE.

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