Disposable Respirators help to remove very small particles from the air you breathe. These particles include germs (like viruses, bacteria, and mold) and other kinds of dust. A disposable respirator does not have replacement parts. It is meant to be thrown away after use.
Is a disposable respirator the same as a surgical mask?
While disposable respirators look similar to masks used during surgery and other medical procedures, the two are designed for very different purposes. Surgical masks are primarily made to keep particles breathed out by the wearer – for example, saliva or mucus – from contaminating the work environment. Respirators, on the other hand, protect the wearer against potentially hazardous particles created by the work environment.
When should I wear a disposable respirator?
A disposable respirator should be worn:
- when in a moldy building, such as after a flood
- when visiting or caring for someone in the hospital with tuberculosis
- if recommended during an outbreak of influenza (“flu”) or other infection
- if recommended by your doctor
- if required in your workplace
Some people may choose to wear a disposable respirator when doing dusty work in the yard or home.