Technical Data Bulletin
page 1 of 2
3 Personal Safety Division
#218 ― 3M™ Versaflo™ Loose Fitting
Facepieces, Hoods, and Helmets: Use with Facial
Hair
Published: July 2013
Replaces all previously published materials on this subject until superseded.
Introduction
The purpose of this
Technical Data Bulletin is to
provide guidance on the use
of the 3M™ Versaflo™
loose fitting facepieces,
hoods, and helmets with
facial hair. Loose fitting
headgear such as the SSeries and M-Series
headgear are designed to be
used with a breathing tube
and a Powered Air Purifying
Respirator (PAPR) or
Supplied Air (SA) unit to
form a National Institute for
Occupational Safety and
Health (NIOSH) approved
respiratory protection
system. These types of
headgear form a partial seal
with the wearer through a
neck collar, inner shroud, or
an elasticized faceseal.
Depending on the type of
loose fitting headgear, they
can accommodate various
amounts of facial hair. It is
up to the user to select the
proper headgear and follow
user instructions to achieve
respiratory protection.
Background
The United States
Occupational Safety and
Health Administration
(OSHA) Respiratory
Protection Standard 29 CFR
1910.134 addresses the issue
of respirator use and facial
hair for tight fitting
respirators in section [29
CFR 1910.134(g)(1)(i)].
This paragraph states that
tight fitting respirators are
not permitted to be worn by
employees who have facial
hair that comes between the
sealing surface of the
facepiece and the face or that
interferes with valve
function. OSHA does not
restrict the use of loose
fitting headgear in uses with
facial hair.
3M Recommendations
Table 1 summarizes current
3M recommendations for
use of the Versaflo™
Headgear with facial hair.
Although the OSHA
standard doesn’t include
facial hair restrictions for
loose fitting types of
headgear, 3M has not
performed specific testing on
its loose fitting headgear to
determine if facial hair in the
sealing surface region affects
the respiratory performance.
In part, this is because of the
difficulty involved in
determining to what extent
various levels and types of
facial hair would affect
respiratory performance. For
loose fitting facepieces and
hoods with an elasticized
faceseal 3M recommends
users are clean shaven where
the faceseal contacts the
wearers face. For hoods and
helmets with an inner neck
collar or an inner shroud that
form a partial seal in the
neck region of the wearer,
3M suggests that beards and
facial hair should not extend
into the sealing surface area
of the hood or helmet.
Facial hair exceeding these
levels could result in
improper seal, and could
result in sickness, injury,
or death.
For additional information
on the use of the 3M™
Versaflo™ Headgear,
consult the User Instructions
for the specific model of
headgear or contact 3M
Technical Service.
Technical Data Bulletin #218
page 2 of 2
Table 1
3M™ Versaflo™ Headgear Facial Hair Guidance
3M™ Versaflo™
Headgear Model
Numbers
S-103, S-133, S-133B,
S-333
Type of
Headgear
Loose fitting
facepiece
Headgear Sealing
Surface
Elasticized faceseal
S-433, S-533
Hood
Elasticized faceseal
S-403
Hood
S-605 (S-655), S-805
(S-855)
Hood
Elasticized faceseal
with an inner
shroud
Neck collar
S-607(S-657), S-707
(S-757), S-807 (S-857)
Hood
Neck elastic and
inner shroud
M-105, M-107, M-305,
M-307
Loose fitting
facepiece
Elasticized faceseal
Helmet
Neck collar
M-405, M-407
Facial Hair Guidance
Users must be clean shaven where the
respirator’s elasticized faceseal comes
into contact with their face.
Users must be clean shaven where the
respirator’s elasticized faceseal comes
into contact with their face.
Users must be clean shaven where the
respirator’s elasticized faceseal comes
into contact with their face.
May be used with facial hair and
beards that do not extend into the neck
collar.
May be used with facial hair and
beards that do not extend into the
inner shroud.
Users must be clean shaven where the
respirator’s elasticized faceseal comes
into contact with their face.
May be used with facial hair and
beards that do not extend into the
neck collar.
For more information, please contact:
3M Personal Safety Division
In the U.S., contact:
Customer Service
1-800-328-1667
Technical Assistance
1-800-243-4630
Internet
www.3M.com/PPESafety
In Canada, contact:
Customer Service
1-800-265-1840
Technical Assistance
(Canada only)
1-800-267-4414
3M and Versaflo are trademarks of 3M Company, used under license in Canada.
Personal Safety Division
3M Center, Building 235-2E-91
St. Paul, MN 55144-1000
Internet
www.3M.com/CA/occSafety
In Mexico, contact: Technical Assistance
1-800-712-0646
5270-2255, 5270-2119 (Mexico City only)