Disposable half mask respirator

Last reviewed on 04/08/2014 11:52

Disposable half mask respirator

General Information

  • This type relies on the wearer's breathing to pull the air through the filter
  • Half masks cover the nose, mouth and chin
  • They are supplied in different shapes and sizes
  • They can be made with Low efficiency (P1), Medium efficiency (P2) or High efficiency (P3) particle filters
  • This RPE is designed for a single shift and should be thrown away at the end of the task, shift or day. However, some newer models may be re-used, marked R on the RPE
  • R-marked types: as a practical measure, do not use for more than three days unless advised by the manufacturer
  • Some models may have an outlet valve, providing improved comfort for the wearer
  • Disposable half-mask respirators are uncomfortable to wear continuously for more than one hour
  • They are OK for light work (work activity when seated) and medium work rate (work activity involving sustained hand and arm movements, or similar to brisk walking).


  • Select the right efficiency filter for your substance
  • Select the right size mask for each wearer
  • Fit-testing for each wearer is required when using this RPE for the first time
  • Ensure that wearers check the RPE fits correctly every time, as recommended by the manufacturer
  • Fit the straps as recommended
  • Train users to use the RPE correctly.


  • Use in oxygen-deficient atmospheres (e.g. confined spaces)
  • Use a P1 filter against fume unless recommended by the manufacturer
  • Use against gases or solvent vapours
  • Store in dirty areas
  • Get dirt inside the mask
  • Use a damaged respirator - filtering surface, straps or valve
  • Make DIY modifications to the RPE.