Disposable respirator masks offer protection to the wearer against respiratory hazards such as dusts and mists. The filtering face piece (FFP) respirator mask can come in a number of different protection levels – FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3 which should be carefully considered when selecting the most appropriate mask for your workplace. Read more here on what the different levels mean. These types of masks should be fit tested to ensure they fit correctly to your face so that they are working as designed with a tight face seal.
FFP masks can also come with or without valves. The exhalation valve on the mask allows for air and moisture to exit the mask. This makes them more comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. However, a valve does make the mask feel more bulky when on. Also in a clinical setting, when the mask is worn to protect from airborne viruses, the valve is not desirable as it allows for unfiltered air to exit the mask from the wearer. In these situations, an unvalved mask protects both wearer and those around the wearer. If valved masks are the only type available, a surgical mask worn over it may increase the protection to those around the wearer.