Which Respirator Masks Protect Against the Coronavirus?

by | Feb 20, 2020 | Latest News

Since January, the talk of the coronavirus has been a constant in worldwide news reports. There has been much concern about the potential threat of the coronavirus to human life as it spreads across the globe. Let’s look at how the virus spreads and the types of protection available to prevent being exposed to it…

a1-cbiss supply Respiratory Protection Equipment (RPE) to industry and the healthcare sector. Many workers have been left wondering if there are steps they can take on a personal level to lower the chances of catching the virus.


How Does the Coronavirus Spread?

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:

> Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)

> Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes – these droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

What is RPE?

To help protect against the coronavirus, there are two suitable types of RPE which prevent the wearer from breathing in contaminated air. Both are available with different facepieces which offer differing levels of protection for the user:

> Tight-fitting facepieces (often referred to as respirator masks). These are available in half-mask or full-mask form. Half masks only provide respiratory protection for the mouth and nose. Whereas a full mask protects the whole face.

Please note; a tight-fitting respirator requires a face fit-test to ensure a good seal between the mask and face. Any facial hair will impede the seal making the mask unfit for purpose. For people with a beard or any type of facial hair, you will need to wear a loose-fitting respirator.

AVIVA2 Half Face tight-fitting facemask












Loose-fitting facepieces rely on enough clean air being provided to the wearer to prevent the wearer from breathing contaminated air. They are connected to a PAPR which circulates purified air to the wearer. These cover the whole head in the form of hoods or visors. Loose-fitting head-tops can be comfortably worn with chemical or hazardous material suits for longer periods of time than a tight-fitting mask. This form of respirator also solves the problem for those people with beards (as a seal is not required between the mask and the face as required wearing a tight-fitting mask).

FH2 head top












Both face piece systems are available with FFP3 or P3 filters which are the highest grade of protection. With a 99.95% efficiency rating, they against solid and liquid toxic particles, and radioactive particles and microorganisms.

Examples of RPE

Tight-fitting respirator

AVIVA2 Half Face tight-fitting facemask











The AVIVA40 mask is the most cost-effective form of protection available. The mask covers the nose and mouth using the highest form of efficiency P3 filters, it protects you from contaminated or airbourne hazards. Buy Online from a1-cbiss

Loose-fitting respirators

The DURAFLOW system prevents any contact with the face so viruses cannot be contracted. Compared to a tight-fitting plastic mask where condensation may build up over time, wearing the DURAFLOW is more comfortable. It provides wearers with a cooling stream of purified air allowing it to be comfortably worn over your entire shift.

The DURAFLOW / FH1 Hood Readypak is a cost-effective loose-fitting respirator. It comes complete with: Powered Air Respirator with 2x P3 filters; Standard duration battery and Charger; Standard belt; FH1 half head-top; and a fixed-length hose. Buy Online from a1-cbiss


Will Respirators Keep The Virus Out? A Note of Caution

Please note that the people who wear respirators should receive training in how to wear them to protect themselves, such as ensuring the respirator fits properly.

The respirator manufacturer 3M, mentions a word of caution, “no matter how well a respirator seals to the face and how efficient the filter media is, wearers should expect a small amount of leakage inside any respirators,” 3M notes. “No respirator will eliminate exposures entirely.”

If you don’t wash your hands before you remove the mask and after you take off your mask, you could increase your health risk.


Guide Download

Download our Healthcare Respiratory Guide


For more information, contact a1-cbiss