Dust Mask vs Respirator Masks

By | 2018-01-08T21:21:33+00:00 January 8th, 2018|Chemical Safety|0 Comments

Dust Mask

Dust masks are not NIOSH* approved disposable filtering facepieces. They can be worn for comfort against non-toxic nuisance dusts during activities like mowing, gardening, sweeping and dusting. These masks are not respirators and do not offer protection against hazardous dusts, gases or vapors.

Dust masks can be mistaken by NIOSH approved N-95 respirators. How can you tell the difference? Look for a NIOSH label printed on the box and/or mask. Also the use of the word “respirator”on the box may indicate that it’s a NIOSH aproved respirator.


Note the NIOSH label and two straps.

Respirator wearers must comply with all the requirements of the Respiratory Protection Program which include: Medical certification, training and annual fit testing.
White dust masks – are meant only for dust.

Rubber half face masks

Rubber half face masks are meant for all operations where the airborne particles are
1. Either small enough than dust mask can stop
2. Or very hazardous, so that dust masks are not relied upon.

Half face rubber masks usually have different filters for working with different hazardous materials.

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HSE Professional with more than 14 years experience in the Upstream Oil & Gas industry. Created this website to help the HSE Professionals from around the globe to form a sharing and learning community. My inspiration in HSE is a verse from Quran: whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely [Quran, al Maida 5:32]