Respirator vs. Gas Mask: Choosing the Right Safety Equipment

Respirator vs. Gas Mask: Choosing the Right Safety Equipment

Posted by William Kimmell on 17th Nov 2021

Protecting yourself and your fellow employees should be your number one priority in the workplace. Working in a profession that can expose you to dangerous chemicals and gases increases the need to use proper protective equipment such as respirators and gas masks. Continue reading to learn more about choosing the right safety equipment between respirators versus gas masks.

Why Do You Need a Gas Mask

Unexpected disasters can strike at any time. Preparing for these unforeseen and worrisome events is crucial, and wearing the right gear can protect you by reducing the risks and dangers that may be present in your environment. Wearing a gas mask gives you immediate protection in case there's hazardous air in the environment.

How Does a Gas Mask Work

As you breathe, gas masks filter or clean chemical gases and particles from the air. This mask consists of a facepiece with a filter and cartridge (called a canister if the filter is contained in a metal shell) with straps holding it to your head. Gas masks are only effective when using them with the proper cartridge or filter for the biological or chemical agent you may expose yourself to.

Benefits of a Gas Mask

The risks you face when you get exposed to chemical substances in the air depend on the concentration of chemicals present, the length of time you expose yourself, the type of chemical, and your current age and health. Chemical exposure can have a variety of health consequences, including:

  • Damage to your organs
  • Deterioration of your immune system
  • Reproductive issues and birth abnormalities
  • Mental health effects
  • Cancer

A gas mask helps reduce the risk of developing these symptoms by minimizing exposure to hazardous elements.

Difference Between Gas Mask and Respirator

Unlike a gas mask, which covers your entire face, most respirators simply cover your nose and mouth. They can protect against particles, bacteria, and gases at low concentrations.

While they also clean particles out of the air, you primarily use them for spaces containing low hazard levels. Many standard respirators are low-cost to give essential protection against common dangers, but you need a gas mask for more dangerous environmental airborne hazards.

Choosing the right safety equipment between respirators and gas masks enables you to perform your job to the best of your ability while keeping safe. We provide a large selection of respiratory protection products at TG Technical Services to keep you and your employees protected. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.