dust mask

How Often Should You Change Your Dust Mask

How Often Should You Change Your Dust Mask. Disposable respirators are called dust masks. However, it’s different from the normal dust masks in a way that it can provide more respiratory protection coverage. While the normal single-strapped dust masks can provide general dust protection such as during leaf blowing or household dust protection, the disposable respirators can protect airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns. Normal dust masks don’t provide a perfect fit to the face as well thereby limiting its protective abilities.

The NIOSH has established a guideline which says that respirator masks can be reused given that the person is exposed to dust levels less than 200 mg in the span of 8 hours and if the person isn’t working on a bio safety lab. This leads us to the question of how often a person should change his/her dust masks.

Conditions Requiring Dust Mask Replacement

You usually know by instinct when it is time to replace your dust mask. But if you’re not sure, here are the situations that call for a worker to change his/her disposable respirator mask.

Dirty Dust Masks

Overtime, the continuous use of dust masks can lead to it being soiled or contaminated. When the dust masks have become soiled enough, it can hinder with the ability of the mask to block off the incoming dust. Moreover, it can also make breathing become difficult since less clean air will be able to pass through the dust mask.

Dust masks usually become easily soiled when the user just puts the dust mask down everywhere when not in use.

Damaged Dust Masks

Dust masks can easily become damaged due to its poor frame integrity. When the dust masks are not properly taken care of, it could become deformed and worse, damaged. Holes in the dust mask can contribute greatly to its ineffectiveness to provide full protection to its wearer since it can easily allow dirty air to go through the mask and into the nose which it can easily be breathed in.

Broken straps on the dust masks are also an indication that the dust masks need replacing. Even if you try fixing it, it’s the ability to completely protect you becomes compromised. It’s better to change it than to risk getting airborne diseases.

Shared Dust Masks

One of the biggest no-no’s when it comes to disposable respirator masks is sharing it with other people. Germs from other people can easily cling on to the surface of the dust mask and it could easily get transferred to you. Even if you’re okay with sharing dust masks with other people, NIOSH strongly discourages you to do this.

Dust Mask Used for 8-10 Hours Straight

Even if the mask isn’t dirty, if you used it for 8 to 10 hours straight, you should consider changing it. Chances are, a lot of invisible germs may have clung to it without you knowing.

Respirator protection is one of the easiest protection you can give yourself. If you feel like your dust masks need changing, don’t hesitate to dispose of it and grab yourself a new one. For more questions, feel free to call us or send us a message and we’ll be happy to address your inquiry as soon as we can.