Face Masks Or Respirators – Which One Should You Go For?

Workplace safety is extremely essential as workers are always surrounded with heavy-duty machines and hazardous materials. And one of the most significant parts of a human body which can get irrevocably damaged is the face. While there are safety glasses to protect our eyes and earplugs to protect our ears, there has always been a debate over face masks and respirators – which one between these two items is better and should get used more often.

But more than any physical injury, these face protectors are more efficient in preventing harmful materials from entering the respiratory track. Whether it is minute dust particles or radioactive contamination – both these face protectors are effective when it comes to fulfilling their duties to perfection.

Let’s take a quick trip to know more on face masks and respirators, how different face mask machine manufacturer they are from each other, and what are the right ways to dispose them. After all, you need to know which one is best suited to your requirements.

What are Face Masks?

Theses masks fit loosely over the nose and the mouth, and protect them from sprays and splashes. Not only do they prevent things from entering inside, they are also effective in stopping things from going outside. For example, keeping droplets from spreading in the air when the wearer coughs or sneezes.

However, face masks come with a disadvantage too. They fail to protect the wearer from inhaling small airborne particles because of the loose fit. Face masks are effective when used in small-scale medical and surgical purposes.

What are Respirators?

Respirators offer all the benefits that a face mask can offer. In addition to that, the tighter fit of a respirator makes the wearer inhale the air which passes through its filter material. This filter is specially designed to trap small airborne particles and the wearer breathes in a cleaner air. Due to their effectiveness, they are widely preferred in both industrial and medical sectors.

However, you need assurance that the respirator you are choosing is of the best quality. You need to search for the approval stamp from NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) on the respirator. A NIOSH-approved respirator will have the following info printed on it:

  • NIOSH logo
  • NIOSH testing and certification number
  • Name of the manufacturer
  • Compliant number, model number or part number
  • Filter series and efficiency level

NIOSH has nine types of respirators – N95, N99, N100, R95, R99, R100, P95, P99 and P100. The number indicates the percentage of particles the respirator can filter, and the letter shows the level of oil resistance (N = not oil-resistant, R = medium oil-resistant, P = strong oil-resistant). It is pretty easy to understand that P100 is the most powerful respirator.

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