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Will a normal mask protect you from asbestos?

| Sep 15, 2021 | Asbestos |

If you work around asbestos, you may know that the main thing you need to avoid is inhaling these particles. They can become trapped within your lungs and other tissue, which can lead to all sorts of long-term health complications, some of which are fatal. 

One solution to this problem seems to be wearing a mask while you work and thus filtering out the dangerous particles while you breathe. You may have cloth masks in your home and car right now, so will they be good enough to protect you from asbestos? Should you just throw one on the next time you go to work? 

Dust masks do not go far enough

Though cloth masks and dust masks can be good for many things and filter out large particles, the simple truth is that they are not enough to stop microscopic asbestos particles. The air may taste and feel cleaner as you work, but that’s really just from the lack of dust. Asbestos can and does still get through the mask. 

That’s not to say you can’t protect yourself. You just need a mask with one of the following ratings to do so:

  • N-100
  • P-100
  • R-100

Many times, these ratings are given to the cartridges used on respirators. If they are fitted properly and rated high enough, they can block asbestos particles. It’s very important to have the right type of personal protective equipment (PPE) on every job. 

It’s also important to know what legal options you have if asbestos exposure leads to serious illness, lost wages, medical bills and all sorts of other complications. You may be able to seek significant compensation for some of these costs.