Full Face Mask Respirators
Full Face Respirators For Use With Hazardous Dust & Vapours
When working with some of the most hazardous substances found in the workplace, such as asbestos, you will need to wear a full-face mask respirator. Tight fitting full face respiratory protective equipment (RPE) includes any system which forms a seal around the face covering the eyes, nose and mouth. These systems offer some of the highest levels of protection available, only falling short of solutions with an external air feed.
As with all RPE systems, full-face respirator masks have limitations that impact their suitability for specific tasks and use cases. Factors that need to be considered include how physically involved the work is, whether the user has facial hair, how long the wearer can wear the mask and the availability of filters for the hazard present.
Full-face respirators offer superior sealing against the face when compared to half masks and disposables. Full-face respirators offer a superior sealing against the face than half masks and disposables. They also protect the eyes from irritants, which is something that exclusively full-face and powered air masks can do. However, This feature should not be confused with impact resistance, as this is rated separately, and not all masks have the B rating required to be used alongside power tools.
Key Considerations When Purchasing A Full Face Mask Respirator
Different hazards require different filter types. Ensure your chosen full-face dust mask suits the hazard level you are working with.
Face Size & Shape
Not every face is the same shape and size. We supply face-size gauges to help you choose the right size of full-face mask. Remember that you still need a proper face fit test to ensure the mask is fitted correctly. Even the correct size mask can leak air if not worn properly.
Full Face Covering Seal
The outer seal ensures that the whole face is protected from airborne particles. This tight sealing feature is what makes the full face masks appropriate for hazardous environments.
Protection For The Eyes From Irritants
Unlike half-face masks, a full-face mask covers the eyes. This can be critical when working with irritating gasses and particles, even food powders such as spices.
An exhalation valve helps prolong the lifespan of the filter materials by reducing their exposure to exhaled water vapour. It can also help ensure the mask does not become unseated if the wearer exhales harshly.
When working with any eye covering, you should consider the mask's optical clarity. A class 1 optic is the gold standard, offering undistorted vision.
Ease Of Cleaning
The method for cleaning your full face mask differs depending on your chosen model. These cleaning methods are listed on each product page. It is important to clean and maintain your mask as performace impacting defects could otherwise go unnoticed.
The comfort of your full-face dust respirator can be impacted by several factors. Quality face seals and elasticated straps can ensure you can achieve a comfortable and effective seal.
Internal Air Management
Many full-face masks feature internal airflow management systems that ensure exhaled air does not re-enter the larger volume of the mask. This feature helps prevent fogging and stops the wearer from re-breathing carbon dioxide-rich air.
Spare Parts Availability
Ensure that any full face mask you purchase as a readily available supply of spare parts and filters. As these masks often cost more than their half-mask counterparts, it is important you can service them to keep them working properly and effectively for longer.
If you require prescription eyewear, be sure to purchase a solution such as Force 10, which has prescription eyewear inserts available as an accessory. Alternatively, you can wear contact lenses. Standard glasses cannot be worn as they break the face seal.
Rest Period Requirements
Tight-fitting face masks can only be worn for one hour at a time. This is to prevent fatigue and also ensure that the skin under the seal does not become irritated and sore.
Compability With Other PPE
If other PPE, such as helmets, are required whilst working, ensure you pick a solution that is cross-compatible. Where possible, we list compatible products on our product pages to help guide you.
Customer Questions / FAQ
Can you wear glasses with a full face respirator?
Unfortunately, wearing any prescription eyewear with a conventional headband or temple arms will compromise the seal of your full face mask, allowing dust particles and other vapours to creep in.
Can you wear a full face respirator with a beard?
No, you must be cleanly shaven to ensure that your full face RPE fits correctly. Even stubble can compromise a mask's seal and render it useless against the tiny particles that make up many respiratory hazards.
How do you put on a full face respirator mask?
This process will differ for each mask model on the market. Instructions (including videos) can be found on our product pages and in the packaging of the item you purchased.
What is the best full-face respirator for woodworking?
This will depend on the materials you are working with and if you can afford to take a break every hour for the required rest period. After completing a full risk assessment, you should be able to identify the filtration level needed and ultimately asses if an alternative such as better dust extraction, a powered air mask or half mask respirator could be a better alternative.
Alternative RPE Options From Our Range
Within our RPE range, we have a variety of styles of equipment for just about any hazard commonly found on a worksite or in hobby industries. Some of these ranges include;
Disposable Dust Masks
These are single-use items designed to be worn for a single shift and should be disposed of once they have been taken off.
Half Face Masks
These have many of the same features and benefits as a full face mask but only cover the nose and mouth.
Powered Air Masks
These masks are loose-fitting and feature a blower that draws air through a filter, then creates a pocket of clean, positively pressurised air around the wearer's face.
Need Help Finding The Right Full Face Respirator For Your Needs?
If you are having trouble finding the right RPE or PPE for your needs, then please do not hesitate to contact our friendly sales team on +44 (0)1905 794875. We have a range of filters and cartridges available on the shelf with fast delivery. We also have the backup of major manufacturers who can help identify the best product for your needs and budget.