Full-face mask respirator

Last reviewed on 04/08/2014 10:16

Full-face mask respirator


  • This type relies on the wearer's breathing to pull the air through the filter
  • Full face masks cover the whole area of the face. Some makes are fitted with an inner half mask
  • They are supplied in different shapes and sizes
  • In general, respirators are made from flexible rubber or silicone material
  • They can be cleaned and used many times, as recommended by the manufacturer
  • A full-face mask can be fitted with particle filters, gas filters, vapour filters or a combination of gas, vapour and particle filters
  • These masks have inlet and outlet valves which must be in good condition
  • Full face masks are uncomfortable to wear continuously for more than 1 hour
  • These respirators are adequate for light work (working work activity when seated) and medium work rate (work activity involving sustained hand and arm movements, or similar to brisk walking)


  • Ensure you have the right filter(s) for the substance - particle or gas or vapour, or the required combination)
  • Always fit two identical filters to a twin filter mask
  • Change used filters at the manufacturer's recommended frequency
  • Select the right size mask for each wearer
  • Fit-testing for each wearer is required when using this respiratory protective equipment (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
  • Store in dirty areas between uses
  • Damage or deform the mask, filters or straps when putting it away
  • Get dirt inside the mask, or use solvents to clean the mask, straps or filters
  • Use a damaged respirator - mask, filters, straps or valves
  • Make DIY modifications to the RPE