Respiratory Masks are used in various situations, including protection from the harmful effects of chemicals and vapors, in workplaces, at the scene of an accident and in hazardous situations. A respirator is basically a device specifically designed to protect the wearer against inhaling harmful atmospheres, such as fumes, vapors, gases and particles like dusts and airborne microscopic organisms. A variety of different types of respiratory masks are available for different purposes. Some are more appropriate for protection while some are designed to simply enhance a wearer's appearance.
Some respiratory masks are disposable in nature and are used in situations where the wearer needs to be quickly moved to clean air as soon as possible. Some are meant for long-term wear, meaning that they must be used continuously or else they will lose their effect and cease to provide protection. The disposable varieties are popular due to the fact that they are easy to use, clean and most importantly, affordable. Another very popular kind of respiratory masks which can be used to provide full protection to the wearer are airtight masks, especially the type which cover the entire head and face.
Respiratory masks protect a wearer not only from breathing in foreign substances, but also from inhaling irritants and harmful dust particles which may enter the lungs through the mouth and nose. Such masks protect a wearer by restricting the entry of air into the lungs and by providing a barrier against airborne dangerous materials. These special masks are known to be very efficient in their purpose and have been in use since the 19th century. As a matter of fact, these specialized protective gears have been one of the most effective tools ever devised to prevent contamination of the air and to fight off airborne infectious diseases. Today, respiratory masks are available in a wide variety of styles and forms which cater to the specific needs of different individuals.