dust mask

Can Dust Masks Be Reused

Can a dust mask be reused? Disposable respirator masks are a piece of protective equipment. Used by employees in the workplace. While most people stick to the rules by only using the dust mask once. There are actually some situations where it is acceptable that you use the dust masks twice or even thrice.  According to National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Masks are designed for a single use. However, for reasons including convenience. Supply, and expense, some people actually reuse the masks.

As a result, NIOSH conducted a study concerning this matter and allowed the reusing of the dust masks. Given that it follows a specific set of rules or guidelines.

Is It Safe to Reuse the Dust Masks

NIOSH stating that it doesn’t have to be thrown out or disposed after the first use. Respirators are part of the protocol of a company. Intended to give the workers the necessary respiratory protection. Unless the manufacturer of the masks states that the disposable face piece should be disposed within a specific time frame, the workers are free to reuse the mask until it becomes damaged, soiled, or contaminated.

A Dust Mask Limited to Only One Wearer

NIOSH further elaborated the number of persons that can use the dust masks. Discouraged exchanging masks with other workers. They further stated that when not in use. A dust mask protected from exposure. From dust, contamination, excessive sunlight, moisture, and other damaging chemicals which could lead to its disintegration. The dust masks don’t have a solid frame. Stored in a way that would prevent deformation.

Dust Levels and Dust Mask Reuse

Determining how many uses are possible for a dust mask may not be possible according to the NIOSH. Established certain guidelines that could determine when it is safe, and unsafe to continue reusing the dust masks.

  1. Continuous use is common among many industries where the dust levels are low. Workers can reuse their dust masks. Until it is soiled, damaged, contaminated, or starts to exhibit breathing resistance.
  2. Dusty environment calls for another action. Instances where the person is exposed to large levels of dust. Maximum number which he/she can use the dust mask shouldn’t go beyond 8 hours. The dust masks shouldn’t be reused in situations like this.
  3. NIOSH has also discouraged the repeated use of one dust masks in bio-safety setting. There is a possibility that pathogen. Can cling to the surface of the dust masks which could transfer to the skin of a person. Direct contact with the dust mask and cause infection.

NIOSH has established the guidelines for the reuse to ensure that the people will be educated and informed of the proper usage of the dust masks.

Keep Yourself Protected

Don’t wait for the worst that can happen to you. While it’s still early, get yourself the proper respiratory protection. A dust mask designed for maximum protection. Filtering out airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns. Keep yourself protected from the dangers of airborne infections.