Choosing a Surgical Mask or Respirator

Several criteria should be taken into account when choosing a mask such as application, type of mask, level of protection required, etc.

  • Application: Depending on the profession, the field of application and the presence or absence of contagious diseases, patients and caregivers use a certain type of mask with a certain level of protection.
  • The type of mask: The two main types of masks are “surgical” masks and “respirators.” They have different functions, standards, and objectives. The key point to keep in mind is that surgical masks only protect against infectious agents that can be transmitted via “droplets”, while protective masks or respirators also protect against the inhalation of infectious agents that can be transmitted by “airborne” routes.
  • The level of protection required: Each of these types of masks is subject to different standards and regulations in different countries. Within these standards, there are different classes of devices to determine the degree of protection.
  • Disposable or reusable: Surgical masks are only available as disposable. Respirators can be reusable. In the case of respirators, it is possible to replace the filter once it is full.
  • Effective life: The duration of a mask’s effectiveness varies according to use. It can be between three and eight hours.
  • Comfort: there are different sizes of masks, adaptable to the morphology of the person who will be wearing it. Protective masks or respirators can also be equipped with an exhalation valve to improve user comfort. Some masks also cover the eyes if eye protection is required. These are called full face respirators or masks.  

Add Comment