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Respiratory Protective Equipment Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Product (Air Purifying Respirators (APR) {Unpowered Air-Purifying Respirators [Disposable Filtering Half Mask, Half Mask, and Full Face Mask], and Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPR), and Supplied Air Respirators), By End-Use (Industrial, Oil & Gas, Mining, Petrochemical, Construction, Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals), and Regional Forecast, 2020-2027

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI103534



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The global respiratory protective equipment market size was USD 6.54 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 12.88 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.2% during the forecast period.

Respiratory protective equipment (RPE) is a particular form of personal protective equipment (PPE) used in the workplace to shield the wearer from the inhalation of dangerous substances present in the air. RPE should be used when it is not feasible to obtain sufficient control of exposure, that is, as the last option on the control measures hierarchy including elimination, engineering controls, substitution, PPE, and administrative controls.

The growing prevalence of infectious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is expected to drive the demand for respiratory protective devices. To fight COVID-19 initially, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended using respirator masks, such as the N95, that tightly and fully covered the nose and mouth, filtering out virus particles before they are inhaled. Healthcare workers could also wear devices known as Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPRs), which cover the entire head.

Impact of COVID-19 Outbreak on Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) Market

The COVID-19 outbreak has had a positive effect on the RPE market growth, as the demand for masks and respirators has risen significantly. Both N95 respirators and PAPRs are being extensively used in health care settings. COVID-19 is also perceived in many countries to be a high-risk occupational threat for healthcare workers in a range of fields and specializations. The WHO and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended airborne precautions for healthcare staff. Companies are investing in new product portfolio development to fight against COVID-19. For instance, 3M developed a special PAPR to reduce airborne particulate exposure.


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Increasing Awareness About the Importance of Workplace Safety to Drive the Market

By encouraging the use of respiratory protective equipment, the risk of hazards can be greatly mitigated. Personal protective equipment such as RPE provides health equipment that protects employees from workplace injuries or dangers of illness. The PPE contains a wide variety of protection devices intended to safeguard various parts of the human body, depending on the workplace's risk of exposure. Increasing awareness about occupational health has encouraged employers to proactively ensure that workers are offered effective RPE equipment. This allows them not only to safeguard their workers but also to mitigate costs that are usually lost as a result of medical expenses, workers' compensation, and additional production time. Companies are taking stock of the increasing demand for respiratory protective equipment and taking steps to cater to worker safety requirements.


Rising Demand from Healthcare Industry Will Aid Market Growth

Growing demand for respiratory protective equipment in the healthcare industry is anticipated to boost the market. Coronavirus, which triggered the global pandemic in early 2020 and infected millions worldwide, presented healthcare professionals around the world with a massive challenge. Healthcare workers' safety and well-being have become the key determinant in ensuring the safety, security, and economic stability of a country. In the U.S., COVID-19 has affected an unprecedented number of healthcare workers. In 10 states, where comprehensive monitoring is carried out, healthcare workers account for between 4.4% and 20% of confirmed cases and more than 100 healthcare staff worldwide have died.

With the daily increase in the number of infected patients, healthcare workers are struggling to take appropriate steps to defend themselves against the highly infectious coronavirus from transmission. The coronavirus triggers an acute respiratory infection, spread through routes of touch and droplets. The use of PPE such as facemasks, surgical gloves, eye protection, and frequent hand washing is known to restrict the spread of the virus, but N95 masks are more effective than standard surgical masks in preventing virus transmission among health care workers (HCWs). This aspect of determining the superior form of respiratory protection equipment is of great importance for providing optimum protection to HCWs, avoiding shortages of medical equipment, and reducing the burden on manufacturers and suppliers of this equipment.

The RPE is commonly used in the medical and healthcare industry by patients, nurses, physicians, assistants, ward boys, and other personnel to minimize or prevent airborne or interacting disease exposure. In addition, many volatile solvents and active pharmaceutical ingredients are used during the manufacture of medications, which can cause workplace hazards. In these situations, various forms of RPE, such as half-face masks, full-face masks, helmets, hoods, and visors are used to shield the employees. Much attention is focused on the role of PAPRs in the healthcare industry due to infectious disease outbreaks.

Adoption of Stringent Regulatory Policies to Boost the Market

If workers have to work in an environment where there is inadequate oxygen, or when there are toxic dusts, fogs, mists, fires, fumes, liquids, vapors, or sprays, they require respirators. These health risks can lead to cancer, lung impairment, other illnesses, or death. Where toxic substances are present in the workplace and controls in engineering are ineffective for minimizing or removing them, respirators are required. Many respirators with in-built ozone protection can also be used to protect against oxygen-deficient atmospheres.

The respiratory requirement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to develop and implement an efficient respiratory safety system when workers are forced to wear respirators to protect themselves from occupational hazards. Different hazards need different respirators, and it is the duty of workers to wear the correct respirator and to follow the respiratory safety program. The standard includes program administration requirements, respirator selection, worksite-specific procedures, employee training, fit testing, respirator use, cleaning, maintenance, and repair. Employees must use respirators while installing effective engineering controls, where feasible. In a specific work environment and contaminant, the tools of the employee must be correctly chosen, used, and maintained. Therefore, employers have to educate staff in all facets of the respiratory health program.


Lack of Awareness Regarding Proper Use of RPE to Restrict Market Growth

Appropriate steps should be taken to improve the work practices, environment, and workplace conditions, where workers can be exposed to hazardous dust. If this is not possible, workers should wear RPEs, which is used to avoid a range of occupational respiratory diseases caused by workplace exposure to unsafe inhalable particles and substances. In many cases, the occurrence of occupational respiratory diseases caused by respiratory health management has been reported. Cases of acute and chronic respiratory diseases were reported due to excessive or insufficient use of RPE. Not only acute toxicity but also respiratory disorders, such as pneumoconiosis and lung cancer may develop over several years due to inadequate use and management of RPE. Therefore, it is important to strengthen the preventive measures for dust exposure. Lack of awareness and sufficient training on the use of RPE and equipment failures have resulted in many fatal injuries among industrial employees such as asphyxiation or chemical poisoning.


By Product Analysis

Air-Purifying Respirators (APR) Segment to Hold Significant Share of the Global Market

Based on the product, the market is segmented into air-purifying respirators (APR) and supplied-air respirators (SARs). Further, the air-purifying respirators segment is divided into unpowered air-purifying respirators and powered air-purifying respirators (PAPR). The supplied air respirators segment is further classified into airline respirators, self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), combination SAR/SCBA or APR/SAR, and others. The air-purifying respirators segment accounted for a major share of the market in 2019 and is expected to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period. Air-purifying respirators can eliminate airborne pollutants by filtering out particulates. Many APRs purify the air in a bottle or canister by adsorbing gases or vapors on a sorbent. They are closely fitted and are available in different types. Air-purifying respirators have filters and cartridges that remove contaminants from the air by passing through the air-purifying element before they reach the user.

Supplied-air respirators supply air from a compressed air tank to a facepiece via a supply line. The air supplied in tanks or from compressors has to follow certain levels of purity and humidity. SARs are usable in both positive- and negative-pressure modes. Pressure-demand SARs with provisions for escape provide the highest level of security and are the only ones recommended for use in hazardous waste sites.

By End-Use Analysis

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Industrial Segment to Generate the Highest Revenue

Based on end-use, the market is segmented into industrial, oil & gas, mining, petrochemical, construction, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, fire service, and others. The industrial segment accounted for the key share of the global market. The growing demand for RPE in the industrial sector due to its application in various industries including metal production, textile industry, and others is expected to fuel the respiratory protective equipment market growth.

A large number of respiratory risks have been associated with the oil and gas industry. Exposure to such hazards in the workplace is likely to risk employees' lives, and therefore the global industry has been increasingly focused on compliance with occupational health and safety regulations to protect workers on sites.

The application of respiratory protective equipment in the healthcare industry is anticipated to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period. Exposure to numerous biological agents including bacteria, fungi, viruses, and others is typical in the healthcare industry. Organizations such as the OSHA are taking steps to provide advice on the proper use of respiratory and other protective equipment in the healthcare sector or field.


North America Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) Market Size, 2016-2027 (USD Billion)

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The market size in North America stood at USD 2.5 billion in 2019. North America is currently dominating the respiratory protective equipment market share in terms of revenue and is likely to maintain this trend during the forecast period. The existence of strict safety regulations and growing awareness of employees regarding personal safety in most industries is expected to boost the demand for RPE in the region.

The Asia Pacific is projected to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period owing to rapid industrialization. Construction, healthcare, pharmaceutical, oil & gas, mining, and others are the primary industries contributing to the rapid growth of the regional market.

In Europe, the increasing number of respiratory hazards, the increasing requirement for highly effective RPE owing to exposure to hazardous particulates in most core industries are anticipated to drive the market during the forecast period.

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Increasing investment in the oil & gas industry in the Middle East and Africa is expected to accelerate the growth of the market. In addition, growing concerns regarding workplace injuries and respiratory hazards, combined with tight regulations will positively contribute to the growth of the market in the region.


Companies to Adopt Various Strategies to Strengthen their Market Share

The RPE market is highly competitive and fragmented, with major key players operating in the industry including 3M, Ansell, Bullard, Avon Protection, Honeywell International, and others. Key industry players sell and market products with distinctive features such as powered air-purifying respirators with an automatic filter to achieve dominance in the global market. Strategies embraced by the major firms usually include product development, product portfolio expansion, and distribution network expansion. Increasingly, companies are investing in the production of new and improved personal protection equipment. Recently, during the coronavirus pandemic crisis, the WHO called on industry and governments to increase RPE production to meet the global demand for protective equipment.


  • 3M (U.S.)

  • Ansell Ltd. (Australia)

  • Alpha Pro Tech (Canada)

  • Avon Protection (U.S.)

  • Bullard (U.S.)

  • Delta Plus Group (France)

  • Intech Safety (India)

  • Drägerwerk AG & Co. KGaA (Germany)

  • Gentex Corporation (U.S.)

  • MSA (U.S.)

  • Honeywell International Inc. (U.S.)

  • Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. (U.S.)

  • Jayco Safety Products Pvt. Ltd. (India)

  • Uvex Safety Group (Germany)

  • Protective Industrial Products, Inc. (U.S.)

  • Other Key Players


  • In May 2021, Fisher Pumps, a Coimbatore-based business, introduced the Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR), which physicians and frontline workers may use. The PAPR, dubbed Fisher AirPro, was developed in-house and is now available for purchase. The product took roughly a year to create. The AirPro is made up of a facepiece and a hip unit linked by an air hose.

  • In October 2020, A new Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) has been created by biomedical technologists at the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science and Technology (SCTIMST), a Thiruvananthapuram-based Centre of Excellence under the Department of Science and Technology (DST). It was created at SCTIMST's technology company incubator TIMed utilizing DST's Nidhi Prayas financing initiative by public health specialist Praveen Pai and Kochi-based startup Decshel Scientifics.

  • In April 2020, Ford Motor Company announced they will be manufacturing of a new motorized air-purifying respirator will begin tomorrow, with design and testing assistance from 3M. The factory will be able to produce over 100,000 respirators; which 3M will distribute throughout the United States in the battle against the coronavirus epidemic. The proceeds from the respirators will be donated to charities fighting COVID-19, according to Ford and 3M.


An Infographic Representation of Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) Market

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The respiratory protective equipment market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies, products, and end-use. The report also offers insights into market trends and highlights vital industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses various factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Billion)


  Product; End-Use; and Geography

By Product


  • Air-Purifying Respirators (APR)

    • Unpowered Air-Purifying Respirators

      • Disposable Filtering Half Mask

      • Half Mask

      • Full Face Mask

    • Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPR)

      • Half Mask

      • Full Face Mask

      • Helmets, Hoods & Visors

  • Supplied Air Respirators

    • Airline Respirators

    • Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA)

    • Combination SAR/SCBA or APR/SAR

    • Others

By End-Use


  • Industrial

  • Oil & Gas

  • Mining

  • Petrochemical

  • Construction

  • Healthcare

  • Pharmaceuticals

  • Fire Service

  • Others

By Geography


  • North America

    • By Product

    • By End-Use

    • By Country

      • U.S.

      • Canada

  • Europe

    • By Product

    • By End-Use

    • By Country

      • Germany

      • UK

      • France

      • Italy

      • Spain

      • Russia & CIS

      • Rest of Europe

  • Asia Pacific

    • By Product

    • By End-Use

    • By Country

      • China

      • Japan

      • India

      • ASEAN

      • Rest of Asia Pacific

  • Latin America

    • By Product

    • By End-Use

    • By Country

      • Brazil

      • Mexico

      • Argentina

      • Rest of Latin America

  • Middle East & Africa

    • By Product

    • By End-Use

    • By Country

      • GCC

      • South Africa

      • Rest of Middle East & Africa

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 6.54 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 12.88 billion by 2027.

In 2019, the market value stood at USD 6.54 billion.

Growing at a CAGR of 7.2%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).

The industrial segment is the leading segment based on end-use.

Rising demand from healthcare industry will aid the market growth.

3M, Honeywell International Inc., Avon Protection, MSA, Alpha Pro Tech, Bullard, and others are few of the leading players in the global market.

North America dominated the global market in 2019.

Adoption of stringent regulatory policies in various industries.

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Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) Market Size, Share and Global Industry Trend Forecast till 2026
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