TC Numbers and Cartridge Colors

A respirator is approved by NIOSH with all the associated parts and carries a “TC number.” The following table provides the TC (tested and certified) classifications for the respirators commonly used for pesticide applications. Using any part of a respirator that was not part of the initial, approved assembly, means the respirator is no longer “NIOSH-approved.”

NIOSH Class

Respirator Description
Air-purifying Respirators
TC-21C
  • Powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) with particulate filter (HE)
TC-14G
  • Gas mask with or without particulate filter (N, R, or P)
  • Tight-fitting PAPR with gas canister with or without particulate filter (HE)
TC-23C
  • Air-purifying respirator with chemical cartridges
  • PAPR with chemical cartridges
  • PAPR with combination chemical cartridge and particulate filter (HE)
TC-84A
  • Filtering facepiece respirator (N, R, or P)
  • Air-purifying respirator with particulate filter (N, R, or P)
  • Air-purifying respirator with combination chemical cartridge and particulate filter (N, R, or P)
Atmosphere-supplying Respirators
TC-13F
  • Self-contained breathing apparatus
  • Supplied-air respirator with a self-contained escape bottle
TC-19C
  • Supplied-air respirator

 

Cartridges are colored according to the type of contaminant they remove from the air. Refer to the tables below to determine the appropriate color of cartridge for your needs. The table on the left contains colors of respirator cartridges commonly used when handling pesticides. The table on the right has the full spectrum of cartridge colors.