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Breathing apparatus

Air-supplied respiratory protective equipment, which can be of two types: 

  • Compressed air line breathing apparatus. Used either with a full mask or a full enclosing suit, air can be supplied either by negative pressure demand, in which the suction in the face mask opens a demand valve allowing air into the mask, or by a positive pressure demand. 
  • Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). There are two types of this equipment. One utilizes an open circuit of compressed air cylinders, while the other consists on a closed circuit of compressed oxygen. Both are based on a full mask and a set of air or oxygen cylinders which the wearer must carry on his/her back.

This type of equipment provides the highest degree of protection and is the only type suitable for use in an atmosphere immediately dangerous to life or health.


  • Lees, F.P. Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 3rd ed.; Butterworth-Heinemann. Oxford, UK, 2005

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