Why ‘handyman’ dust masks are ineffective for worker safety

Tough working environments may expose your workers to several respiratory hazards—gases, welding fumes, smoke, paint, dust, chemical sprays and asbestos. Merely popping down to the nearest hardware store may not give you the best solution for their protective needs.

 

 

Ordinary Masks Can’t Give Real Protection

Although ordinary nuisance dust masks can prevent larger particles such as sawdust from entering the lungs, the filtering fabric is not rated to be effective against smaller dust and smoke particles that can cause considerable long-term damage to health. Additionally, these cheaper masks are unlikely to fit well against facial contours—unfiltered air will be drawn in through any gaps.

 

The Ultimate Alternative

Esko has years of experience in manufacturing and supplying protective gear and safety equipment supplies to industrial, automotive, agricultural, marine and construction industries. Our respiratory gear is carefully designed to protect from mist, dust and fumes.

 

What do the P1 and P2 Ratings Mean?

Australia/New Zealand standards rates respirator filters for particulate hazards into three classes: P1 (for particles generated by mechanical processes, eg grinding, sanding, mining), P2 (for particles generated by mechanical and thermal processes, eg welding, metallic fumes and P3 (for highly toxic particles, eg organophosphate insecticides, radionuclides [the filter is required to be used with a full facepiece]).

 

So, if you are choosing disposable masks, make sure they have at least a P1 rating. A P1 rated mask will be tested and rated to provide good protection against moderate exposure to dust.

 

If workers are in an environment where they are exposed to finer thermally generated particles (smoke and fumes) you need to select a P2 mask. If the mask has an exhalation valve, breathing will be easier and the mask more effective as breath is exhaled through the valve, not through the mask fabric. Esko’s biggest selling mask is the P2-rated DRP2V mask—a professional quality mask with the AIR8™ exhalation valve and two straps for a good, comfortable fit.

 

 

Esko’s bestselling DRP2 mask

 

Need to know more?

This is just a brief intro—much more is available on Esko’s website resources, click here to check it out.

 

Take respiratory protection seriously. Learn more about our selection or contact us to take charge of your workers’ safety.

 

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