Absolutely, there are alternative respirators available.
Look for labels saying a respirator is N99, N100, or R95, R99, R100, or P95, P99, P100.
95 indicates that it is 95% efficient in filtering, 99 indicates it is 99% efficient in filtering and 100 indicates it is 99.97% efficient in filtering. N, R, P is denoted as the following:
- N= Not resistant to oil particulates
- R = resistant to oil particulates
- P = oil proofBased on a risk assessment of the tasks to be done, decide whether N, R, or P is appropriate. In terms of efficiency, choose any 95, 99, or 100-rated respirator at this point. At minimum, should be a N95.
In some workplaces, chemical cartridges may also be considered. Chemical cartridges are rated to protect against specific chemicals: organic vapors, ammonia, etc. There are cartridges that function as dual chemical and particulate filters. Ensure that any of the cartridges that are considered can filter dust, as discussed above (N95, N99, N100, or R95, R99, R100, or P95, P99, P100). For certain cartridges, you can add on a particulate filter as an attachment piece.