Respiratory protection

IRSST offers respirator-selection tool for protection against bioaerosols

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Photo: IRSST

Montreal – An online tool from scientific research organization IRSST is intended to aid in the selection of respiratory protection against bioaerosols in the workplace.

Bioaerosols are airborne particles that contain living organisms, such as bacteria, viruses and mold, as well as substances from living organisms. According to IRSST, most bioaerosols are safe for humans, but exposure to some can result in health problems such as occupational diseases and sensitization.

The tool guides users through six steps:

  1. Choose a sector, either health care or other.
  2. Select a risk group. The tool provides resources and case studies for the selection.
  3. Pick the control level, which refers to air quality control measures in the workplace.
  4. Choose the generation rate, which refers to the bioaerosols’ suspension potential.
  5. Receive the assigned protection factor.
  6. Review the suggested respirators.

A video tour of the tool also is available.