As pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical manufacturers respond to demands for increased quality, security and regulatory overview, pressure to elevate productivity and address key employee environmental health and safety issues is mounting. One of the biggest issues is protecting personnel and the environment from exposure to potent active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).
Powered air-purifying respirators, or PAPRs, are the industry standard for respiratory protection in non-sterile pharmaceutical production operations. They use a battery-powered blower to pull ambient air through air purifying elements (filters) before the air is made available for breathing. They come in a variety of styles — half mask, full facepiece and helmets/hoods — but not all styles deliver the same levels of comfort or allow the same range in motion.
While PAPRs for use in pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical operations are required to meet NIOSH certification standards, including protection levels, airflow and filtration performance, differences in other areas of design and functionality may provide an improved level of worker protection and personal comfort.
This white paper explores eight such considerations in detail (many correlated to the attributes described above) and could be helpful to EHS managers and supervisors looking to select a PAPR system for their particular application.