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How to properly clean your assisted ventilation?

How to properly clean your assisted ventilation?

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In a large number of professional activities, there are health risks linked to the inhalation of air. The air can be polluted by gases, dust, etc., or depleted in oxygen and therefore dangerous for the worker who is exposed to it. Respiratory protection will therefore have a very important protective role.

Depending on the type of risk, the appropriate respiratory protection must be defined. You can learn more in this article.

Here, we will focus on assisted ventilation, and how to clean it properly so that it is effective in all circumstances.


The importance of respiratory protection

17 breaths per minute, 25,000 breaths per day: breathing takes up a large part of our time, even if it is unconscious for many of us. Nevertheless, we know the importance of good breathing and clean air. Clean air is an atmosphere composed of 21% oxygen and 78% nitrogen.

Clean air can be contaminated by several agents:

  • Dust: little particles such as wood, flour, soot, etc.
  • Fog: liquid droplets caused by liquid aerosols for example
  • The smoke: residue of combustion, it contains gases, vapors and fine particles
  • Gases: they fill up the available space very quickly
  • Vapors: mixture of air and liquid droplets
respiratory protection

These contaminants can impact in several ways:

  • By inhalation: through the respiratory tract
  • Oral: by mouth
  • Dermal: through the skin

Before thinking about individual respiratory protection, it is essential to put in place collective protection measures. For example, replacing dangerous products with another solution. If these measures are not sufficient to eliminate the risk, individual protection must be implemented.

In case of poor protection and therefore inhalation of polluted air, many risks exist for the worker.

  • The risk of anoxia (lack of oxygen)
  • The risk of intoxication (inhalation of a toxic gas)
  • The risk of asphyxiation (slowing or stopping breathing)

For the individual protection of the worker, there are several types of respiratory protection devices (see diagram opposite)

Cleaning of the assisted ventilation

Cleaning of the assisted ventilation

When we talk about assisted ventilation cleaning, we are talking about cleaning the motorized ventilator, the assisted ventilation mask, the supply hose and the breathing tube.

As far as the filter is concerned, mask maintenance only requires replacing it. Be careful, however, to use only the filter recommended by the manufacturer, which are therefore tested and approved for the device in question. The given filter must not be used on other devices, as this could alter their efficiency and operation.

The verification steps

> Before use

  • Filter replacement and verification (user must check filter expiration date)
  • Checking the operating condition of the device and its tightness
  • Air flow control

> After use

  • Removal of used filters
  • Cleaning and disinfection of the entire apparatus, including the air supply hose and breathing tube. For some ventilated devices, such as those used for asbestos, decontamination requires cleaning under a shower: in this case, make sure that your company has the necessary equipment to carry out this decontamination correctly. You should also know that there are companies specialized in decontamination.

Attention: the use of a disinfecting wipe does not replace a real disinfection in a tank. A wipe can however be used as a preliminary cleaning. However, care must be taken during its use not to damage the exhalation valves and alter the mask seal.

  • Checking the operating condition and tightness of the device
  • If necessary, charging of the battery

In addition to maintenance and periodic checks, the cleaning of your assisted ventilation mask will ensure the durability of your device. Indeed, you will preserve the performance of your assisted ventilation and you will reduce the costs related to possible damage.

The right thing to do when cleaning your ventilation system


After each use of an assisted ventilation mask, it must be cleaned and disinfected, and stored in a clean, dry place.

It is important to follow the manufacturer's recommendations when maintaining your assisted ventilation, and to use the recommended equipment and products.

Generally, it is recommended to :

  1. Clean the device with a neutral product
  2. Rinse the device with drinking water
  3. Disinfect the device for at least 15 minutes
  4. Rinse the device with drinking water
  5. Dry the device at a maximum temperature of 60°C

As far as cleaners and disinfectants are concerned, some manufacturers recommend the use of very specific products. These products have been tested and approved for the manufacturer's equipment and are highly recommended for use.

The different terms used

Generally speaking, there are four terms:

  • Cleaning: removes dirt and foreign bodies from objects or surfaces. It can be done with water only. A detergent can also be used. It is generally a manual process.
  • Sanitizing: the number of microorganisms on the object is reduced to a "healthy" level. This is usually done manually.
  • Disinfection: all microorganisms are destroyed, using chemicals and heat. This is usually a machine process.
  • Sterilization: an object is made free of all viable microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc. This is usually a machine process.

On a daily basis, it is essential to clean, sanitize and disinfect ventilated masks. Sterilization is not necessary for all ventilated masks, but it is essential when the operator enters sterile areas or handles sterile equipment.


In order to avoid possible errors, the protective equipment for users should be stored in a different place from that intended for training, or awaiting maintenance or cleaning.

Powered air-purifying respirators should be stored in a clean, dry place, usually a cabinet or box provided for this purpose. This will prevent damage to the respirator from moisture, sunlight, temperature variations, mishandling, etc.

If the filter is to be reused, it should be stored carefully and protected from any contagious agents. Ideally, it should be stored in a tightly sealed bag. Generally, the manufacturer will provide the user with lids to protect the filter between uses. If the filter exceeds its expiration date, it must be destroyed to prevent it from being used.

In addition, the manufacturer will provide the user, through the user manuals, with recommendations as to the ideal storage time and conditions.

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