The Beard and the Respiratory Protection Mask

EIN Beard SPI 400

Jan 15, 2021

Half-masks and full-facepiece respirators require an optimal seal to guarantee their effectiveness, and the beard can impede it considerably.

DID YOU KNOW THAT A BEARD’S REGROWTH AS LITTLE AS ONE DAY OLD CAN AFFECT THE MASK’S SEAL IN PLACE?

What does it mean exactly?

Since many masks have been tested on different face types, the results of these tests vary considerably. However, it should be noted that in 100% of cases, after 7 days without shaving, the respiratory protection masks showed a leak of more than 1%. This means that the air inside the mask contained more than 1% of unwanted particles!

Some masks can even let in up to 6% of toxic particles after only four days, with the growth of facial hair increasing the probability of leakage by more than 50% each day.

Also, it has been noted that jobs requiring regular head movement increase the probability that poorly shaved skin will create a leak.

To give an idea of the average frequency of shaving required, the beard should, for a worker on duty, have been shaved no more than 8 hours before the face shield is installed. This will ensure a facial surface with a minimum of irregularity to facilitate the tight and effective installation of the mask.

WHEN DOES IT BECOME DANGEROUS?

The critical thing to remember about your respiratory protection mask is that any breach, no matter how small, can lead to you becoming intoxicated while on duty.

Contaminants can enter your respiratory system in various forms, such as:

  • Gas
  • Vapors
  • Particles

The level of toxicity also varies depending on the contaminant and the general health of the worker. For example, a person with asthma will have a more intense or even severe response to these respiratory exposures to toxic compounds.

TAKING PRECAUTIONS

Since it is not an exact science, it is crucial to do everything possible to limit exposure to volatile contaminants. Requiring a daily facial shave will promote an optimal seal and prevent leakage through the mask.

However, it is important to note that the beard is not the only hairy obstacle that can reduce the effectiveness of respiratory protection masks. In fact, a worker’s moustache, sideburns and especially hair can be an obstacle to the effectiveness of the equipment.

Be attentive to these obstructions and make sure that your workers meet respiratory protection standards.

SPI CAN HELP YOU IMPROVE THE USE OF RESPIRATORS IN THE WORKPLACE:

Choose the type of mask that suits your facial structure

Explore their range of high-performance respiratory protection masks quickly by clicking HERE

 Learn more today about our respiratory fit testing offer

Go HERE to get information on our fit testing services in our branches or directly at your workplace.

This article was published with permision of, and was written by SPI

Source

Related Articles


Latest Articles

  • Investment in Single-Family Homes Continues to Rise for April

    Investment in Single-Family Homes Continues to Rise for April

    June 14, 2024 Month over month, investment in building construction increased 4.5% to $20.4 billion in March. The residential sector was up 5.4% to $14.3 billion, while investment in the non-residential sector increased 2.3% to $6.1 billion. On a constant dollar basis (2017=100), investment in building construction increased 4.1% to $12.5 billion in March. Investment in single-family homes continues to rise Investment in… Read More…

  • Record High Levels in British Columbia’s Multi-Unit Residential Construction Intentions for April

    Record High Levels in British Columbia’s Multi-Unit Residential Construction Intentions for April

    June 14, 2024 Month over month, the total value of building permits in Canada significantly increased 20.5% to $12.8 billion in April. Construction intentions in the residential sector increased 21.0% to $8.0 billion and the non-residential sector rose 19.6% to $4.8 billion, with growth observed in all components. British Columbia posted a record high monthly total value of building permits ($3.1 billion),… Read More…

  • ECAO’s Ontario’s Energy Future Sector Analysis Report

    ECAO’s Ontario’s Energy Future Sector Analysis Report

    June 14, 2024 Driven by economy-wide decarbonization efforts in response to the global climate crisis, Ontario’s electricity sector is rapidly evolving to enable the shift from fossil-based energy sources to clean energy sources. At the same time, with electrification of industry, transportation and more, it is abundantly clear that the demand for electricity supply is… Read More…

  • Planned Shift from Gas to Electric Heat Required to Avoid High Costs and Emissions: Report

    Planned Shift from Gas to Electric Heat Required to Avoid High Costs and Emissions: Report

    June 14, 2024 New research published today by the Canadian Climate Institute finds that a system-wide shift from gas to electric heat is the lowest-cost path through the clean energy transition. The report, Heat Exchange: How today’s policy choices will drive or delay Canada’s transition to clean, reliable heat, concludes that provincial government action will be  necessary to protect reliability and… Read More…


Changing Scene

  • ECAO Recognizes its 2024 R. Hugh Carroll Safety champions

    ECAO Recognizes its 2024 R. Hugh Carroll Safety champions

    June 17, 2024 The Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario’s R. Hugh Carroll Safety Awards demonstrate the ECAO’s commitment “to promoting and fostering a positive, safety-first culture amongst its membership, and the electrical industry”. This year’s honorees were recognized during the association’s 2024 annual general meeting at the Woodbine Trackside Clubhouse. “Every year it gets harder to pick… Read More…

  • Danielle Mayer – 2024 ECAM Award Recipient

    Danielle Mayer – 2024 ECAM Award Recipient

    June 14, 2024 Danielle Mayer’s journey to receiving the 2024 ECAM Award is one of dedication and determination. Danielle’s interest in the electrical trade sparked when she realized its potential as a hands-on career path, prompted by the suggestion from her friends that they needed an electrician among them. Beginning her exploration of the electrical… Read More…

  • CAF-FCA Unveils Trades Talent – An Innovative Speaker Connection Service at 2024 National Apprenticeship Conference

    CAF-FCA Unveils Trades Talent – An Innovative Speaker Connection Service at 2024 National Apprenticeship Conference

    June 14, 2024 The 2024 National Apprenticeship Conference saw an exciting announcement from the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF-FCA) with the launch of Trades Talent, an innovative online service designed to connect event planners with expert speakers in the skilled trades sector. This ground-breaking platform promises to be a game-changer for those seeking knowledgeable and engaging… Read More…

  • Atkore Announces Environmental Product Declarations for Steel and PVC Conduit Products

    Atkore Announces Environmental Product Declarations for Steel and PVC Conduit Products

    Atkore Inc. announced it has published Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for its Galvanized Steel, Stainless Steel, and PVC Conduit & Fittings portfolios. Verified by an independent third party, each EPD contains a product’s life cycle assessment that measures its environmental impact, such as greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, water consumption, waste generation, and other factors…. Read More…