Respiratory Protection and Understanding Disposable vs Reusable Products

Understanding the different options when selecting Respiratory Protection:

Disposable Protection

This is PPE which is designed for ‘once off use’. They have a certain number of hours safe use, which could be 1 shift (8hours) or even less and then must be disposed of and a new unit used.


  • This is a low-cost unit which requires no maintenance or upkeep.


  • When issuing continuously this solution can become costly and not environmentally friendly.
  • Cannot be worn with Facial Hair.
  • Probability of incorrect fit.


1 – FFP1 Disposable: The FFP1 respiratory protection mask allows a minimum of 80% minimum filtration efficiencies.

2 – FFP2 Disposable: The FFP2 respiratory protection mask allows a minimum of 94% minimum filtration efficiencies.

3 – FFP2 with Valve Disposable: This allows for the same protection of an FFP2 mask with the added benefit of improved airflow through the mask. The one issue with this solution is that it only protects the user from an inhalation point but not those around from an exhalation point – ie. A virus which is spread via respiratory can be spread if the wearer exhales where a mask without the valve would provide added protection.

Reusable Protection

This is PPE which is designed for continuous use. There will be a maximum period of use for the mask but the product will probably get damaged through wear and tear before that period which is still significantly longer use than a disposable solution which can make this a better solution from a financial point if your disposable consumption is high. The Filters have a shorter lifespan (x amount of months from being opened) but again through use you will probably replace them before that.


  • The main piece could last for a substantial period, which reduces cost over a long period where Disposables are changed daily.
  • The Mask can be fitted with a number of different filters making the solution versatile.


  • Maintenance and care of the mask must be carried out regularly.
  • Price (If the unit is used infrequently)
  • Cannot be worn with Facial Hair.

1 – Reusable Half Face Mask: This is the main component used when it comes to reusable respiratory protection. The great benefit to this choice is that the mask will remain consistent but the filters can be used and changed dependent on the risk area. Different quality products allow for higher levels of replacement of components which ensure, for example, that should the head harness become damaged on the mask, just that component can be replaced and the system can still be used.

2 – A1 Organic Vapor Cartridge: This specific cartridge protects against Organic Vapors.

3 – ABEK1 CARTRIDGE: This specific cartridge protects against Ammonia and derivatives, Organic Vapors.

There are many alternative Respiratory Protective solutions which can be considered depending on the risk being faced. We highly recommend getting a Subject Matter Expert to site to better understand the risk. Contact Us today.

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