Quality 3M reusable respirator maintenance is essential. 3M 6000 and 7000 series respirators must be inspected before each use to ensure good operating condition. The facepiece must be repaired or replaced if there are damaged or defective parts. The following inspection procedure is suggested:
- Check facepiece for cracks, tears and dirt. Be certain facepiece, especially faceseal area, is not distorted.
- Examine inhalation valves for signs of distortion, cracking or tearing.
- Make sure that head straps are intact and have good elasticity.
- Examine all plastic parts for signs of cracking or fatiguing. Make sure filter gaskets or seal areas are in good condition.
- Remove exhalation valve cover and examine exhalation valve and valve seat for signs of dirt, distortion, cracking or tearing. Replace exhalation valve cover.
- Inspect lens of full facepiece for any damage that may impair respirator performance or vision.
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Cleaning and Storage
Cleaning is recommended after each use. 3M Reusable Respirator Cleaning Wipes 504 may be used as an interim method in the cleaning schedule for individually assigned respirators, but they must not be the only method in place. During fit testing, wipes may also be used between employees being tested.
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However, these 3M Reusable Respirators must be thoroughly cleaned at the end of each day, using procedures in appendix B-2 of 29 CFR 1910.134.
- Remove cartridges and filters.
- Clean facepiece (excluding filters and cartridges) by immersing in warm cleaning solution, water temperature not to exceed 120º F (49º C), and scrub with soft brush until clean. Add neutral detergent if necessary. Do not use cleaners containing lanolin or other oils.
- Disinfect facepiece by soaking in a solution of quaternary ammonia disinfectant or sodium hypochlorite (1 oz [30 ML] household bleach in 2 gallons [7.5 L] of water), or other disinfectant.
- Rinse in fresh, warm water and air dry in non-contaminated atmosphere.
- Respirator components must be inspected prior to each use. A respirator with any damaged or deteriorated components must be repaired or discarded.
- The cleaned respirator should be stored away from contaminated areas when not in use.
NOTE: The above information is also outlined in the user’s instructions. Additionally, see specific product user instructions packaged with each respirator facepiece for additional information.
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Do not clean with solvents. Cleaning with solvents may degrade some respirator components and reduce respirator effectiveness. Inspect all respirator components before each use to ensure good operating condition. Failure to ensure proper reusable respirator maintenance may result in sickness or death.
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Want to learn more about respirators?
Contact Chris Dowling, the Safety and General Industrial Group Director for IBT Industrial Solutions, at (913) 261-2107 or firstname.lastname@example.org.