There is currently a shortage of disposable particulate respirators in Australia due to an increase in demand from health care workers and from the public and because many Chinese manufacturers have temporarily shut down.
This is an issue for workplaces which require disposable respirators to protect workers from exposure to hazardous dust generated from various work processes, according to Workplace Health & Safety Queensland (WHSQ).
There are many Australian based suppliers that source respirators from countries other than China. These brands of respirator are still being shipped to Australia and include 3M, Moldex, Honeywell, MSA, UVEX, Prochoice, and Draeger.
“If you normally use P2 disposable respirators to protect against mechanically generated particulates (for example, dust from power tools or bonded asbestos removal), a P1 disposable respirator may be an alternative option,” WHSQ said.
“P1 disposable respirators are suitable for mechanically generated particulates while P2 disposable respirators are suitable for both mechanically and thermally generated particulates (e.g. particulates produced by hot processes such as soldering and welding).”
The regulator said organisations should ensure they are getting the maximum use out of the respirators they are able to source: