In case you didn’t know, the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) is firmly established as the major independent voice of the British safety industry, helping to both influence legislation and provide authoritative information on a range of workplace safety issues.

As a member of BSIF, Bunzl Greenham, work hard to ensure that safety issues are understood and properly addressed. When it comes to respiratory safety equipment, it is crucial to get it right. Not only this is the law, but there are also serious health risks involved if you get your respiratory wrong – such as cancers, asthma, COPD (airway obstructive diseases), silicosis, allergies, and sensitisation.

In order to choose the correct means of respiratory protection, it is necessary to know what kind of pollution the respiratory filter requires.

Respiratory Hazards


DustProduced when solid materials are broken down into finer particles, the longer the dust remains in the air the easier it is to inhale



MistsTiny liquid droplets formed by atomisation and condensation processes such as spraying. Mists are often combinations of several hazardous ingredients.



Metal FumesOccur when metals are vaporised under high heat. The vapour is cooled quickly and condenses into very fine particles that float in the air



Airborne at room temperature. Able to diffuse or spread freely, can travel very far very quickly



VapoursThe gaseous state of substances that are liquids or solids at room temperature. Formed when substances evaporate in the way water vapour evaporates from the water.


Respirators will ONLY protect workers from particles, gases, vapours, dust, fibres, mists, germs and fumes IF the respirator is right for the hazard, task and the wearer.

Knowing the entire classification of respirators and filters, you can quickly and easily select the right option. If you need help when it comes to choosing the correct respirator, get in touch with your local Bunzl Greenham Service Centre to get expert advice. You can also use our Buying Guide, get advice from the supplier or discuss with your H&S advisor.

But remember to consult your workers during the selection process as it is also a legal requirement for workers to have their say.

Don’t take risks when it comes to respiratory health! Here at Bunzl Greenham, we work closely with 3M, the leading respiratory supplier, to ensure your safety. Explore a comprehensive range of respiratory protection here.

Disclaimer: The information provided through Greenham Pulse is for general guidance only and is not legal advice. Greenham Pulse is not a substitute for Health and Safety consultancy. You should seek independent advice about any legal matter.