Nowadays, many jobs have high safety requirements. There might be different reasons for it, but in this article, we will talk about breathing safely while working with dust around. We have carefully selected seven of the best dust respirators to review. Also, here’s what you can find later on this page:Advantages and disadvantages of each respirator;
Best products in different price ranges;
Our top pick.
We’ll try to cherry pick the best of the best respirator masks for dust here, so stay tuned.
Respirators For Dust & FAQs
Respirators are specifically designed to protect the people from inhaling anything your lungs won’t like to deal with. For instance, airborne organisms, vapors, gases, fumes, and any other particulate matter. So, you need a good respirator mask for concrete dust when working on a construction site, near fire or anywhere else where there’s lots of dust or dirt. If you choose a good mask for dust, a respirator will help you breathe fresh air even when a total mess is around you.
How do respirators for dust work?
The two main technologies behind respirators are purifying of air and supply of air. In this article, we will only look at air-purifying respirators (https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2018-176/pdfs/2018-176-508.pdf). One of the most important components in a respirator is the filtering element. It can be a filter, a cartridge or even a canister. One should definitely notice that air-purifying respirators only use oxygen from the available in the environment where you are working. So, if your case is different, please check out air-supplying respirators. Three markings used in the US are N, R and P. These markings identify if it is not resistant to oil, somewhat resistant to oil and strongly resistant to oil. For example, you might see a mask classed as N99: meaning it filters at least 99% of airborne particles but is not resistant to oil.
What types of dust respirators there are?
The four dust masks that dominate the market are: filtering facepiece respirators, elastomeric half facepiece respirators, full facepiece respirators and powered air-purifying respirators. However, in this article, we only need the first two categories. So, let’s focus on them and explain what they are exactly in detail. Filtering facepiece respirators are exactly the face masks you are used to seeing on people who work minor construction jobs. These are true respirators according to OSHA (http://webfiles.ehs.ufl.edu/N95VoluntaryUseSignoff.pdf). The filtering media in the filtering facepiece respirators is the mask itself, so to protect the person from unwanted particles it must be sealed to the face well. In some cases, it might be difficult because of the straps not being good enough or facial hair, so it is not the universal solution. On the other hand, the advantages of such respirators include weight, disposability, price, and comfortability. Only double-strapped respirators can get the approval of NIOSH and be used in construction.
Half facepiece respirators cover your face except for the eyes and forehead (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Respirator#Air-purifying). They’re often made of silicone or rubber, which means they can usually seal and fit the face easily. The filtering is possible thanks to cartridges or filters which are exchangeable and can be replaced in any given moment. These filters are assigned the APF (assigned protection factor) of 10. This APF rating means they can protect you in certain atmospheres where the concentration of dust or any other contaminant is up to ten times higher than the limit set for this contaminant.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should one use a respirator?
If you work in an atmosphere where you know the air is contaminated, then you definitely should use a respirator for dust. It means that every construction site worker and everyone who works near, say, forest fires should wear a respirator to avoid dust getting into your lungs.
What are the effects of dust on my lungs?
It’s hard to say for certain what the effects will be as it depends on the amount of dust that is inhaled as well as what kinds of particles get inside your body. One thing that is certain that it’s never great for your health to breathe in any amount of dust. Especially when we’re talking about silica or concrete dust that damage the lungs very badly. Some particles might cause fibrosis or scarring in your lungs.
How do I choose which type of respirator to use?
Every type of respirator has its own preferred conditions, which are always specified. In some cases, a simple cheap respirator will be sufficient, and other times you’ll need to get at least a half facepiece one to remain well protected. Always pay attention to the markings on the respirators, because they will tell you pretty much everything you might need to know about it, including where it can be used. The markings will also show you when you’ll be better off choosing a different one.
Can I use a respirator with facial hair?
The main point that we want to make here is that you need a good face seal. So, if you can find a respirator that will ensure a good seal even if you have facial hair, you’re good to go. The only problem is that you aren’t really likely to get the good seal with a simple filtering facepiece, which means you’ll need to spend more on a half facepiece respirator mask for silica dust. Look at the materials when choosing: your beard or mustache won’t be a problem for silicone or rubber, reviews show this as well.
The top best product
- Easy cleaning (replaceable filters, washable mask);
- Adjustable size and suitability for most people;
- Prevents breathing moisture from accumulating inside the mask while keeping the dust out.
This product is more of a face mask than just a respirator: of course, it will save you from dust (it’s rated N95) thanks to its filters with activated carbon. However, it’s also suitable to use for running, hiking, and other outdoor activities.
The design underlines it nicely, you could even use it as an everyday accessory. If you’re looking for a multifunctional product, this is one of the best respirator masks for dust on the market.
Washable and easy to clean;
Attractive modern design;
Suitable for many different activities.
Hard to adjust the size;
Materials feel and smell cheap;
Some have reported bad airflow when running or cycling.
- Some kind of new material that is very light and friendly to your skin;
- N99 level protection from dust and other particles;
- Universal adaptable size for all head types.
This mask is similar to the last one except for rating (N99 here). The manufacturer says it’s great for outdoor activities such as hiking, running and cycling. They also make a bold statement that it’ll save you from pollen allergy and most viruses and bacteria, but it’s probably not the best dust respirator around.
Adjustable nose piece and velcro size;
Pretty warm for soft winters.
Doesn’t fully protect the wearer from allergies.
- Very cheap and easy to use;
- Only usable for projects with small amounts of dust.
This product is as simple as it gets, and it is reflected by the price. It’s a simple single strapped respirator. Although it doesn’t provide certified protection against most particles, it will likely save you from dust or pollen. It comes in the box of 50. Thanks to the metal clip that goes over your nose it makes it easy to adjust. However, if you’re looking for a best respirator for dust only, it’d be better to look elsewhere.
Sufficient for most at home purposes.
It doesn’t provide full protection, even from dust;
It’s hard to adjust.
- Low price and worldwide brand quality;
- Contour fit to allow the more comfortable use.
This respirator for dust that won’t really help if you’re working in environments with toxic particles and lots of dust. However, it will be sufficient for home cleaning. For example, if you are allergic to household dust. The manufacturer also states it’s good for DIY projects all around the house.
Price to quality ratio;
Good straps, easy fit.
Does not work very well with eyeglasses.
- Very lightweight;
- Compatible with any other eye or ear protection;
- Good flexibility and adaptability;
- Unparalleled dust protection for a respirator mask for concrete dust.
Offers good protection against any particles, including toxic ones;
Very good fit on almost any face;
Very fashionable design.
Some people still found that it wasn’t comfortable for their faces.
- Light and comfortable;
- Approved for professional use;
- Works with other protective stuff;
- Protects from most viruses and bacteria as well as dust and other particles.
Another example of simple respirators, but this time it’s suitable for professional use as well as for home use. This model should be filtering over 95% of particles including dust and mold. Easy to breathe and fit on your face.
Fits most faces very well;
Very easy to use and fit.
Wearing the respirator for long periods is not recommended.
- 12-month guarantee according to the seller;
- Offers N99 protection level and can be used for outdoor activities as well;
- Neoprene is a diving fabric which must feel better than usual materials.
This face mask is made of neoprene. Therefore, it should feel better than other dust masks.
It features an unusual strap that hugs your neck and the manufacturer says it’ll be suitable for most people because of this feature. Filters can be changed.
Neck strap works very well for some people;
Filters are pretty easy to change on your own.
Plastic nose clip doesn’t provide a good level of support in some cases.
In this article, we’ve reviewed our top 7 best respirators for dust and selected the best out of the bunch. Hopefully, you now know a little bit more about how the respirators and face masks work and what to choose in any situation. The best dust respirator, if chosen properly, will protect you even from toxic particles and other airborne organisms, even those that cause allergic reactions. Another important point is that not every respirator is suitable for professional use: please always check so you don’t end up doing a pointless job.