What Is a HEPA Mask?

Updated April 17, 2017

HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) masks are worn on the face to help allergy sufferers breathe easier. They prevent airborne particles such as dust, pollen, mould and animal dander from entering the breathing passages by filtering out the air.

HEPA Masks Versus Surgical Masks

HEPA masks filter 99.97 per cent of all particles that are 0.3 micrometers in diameter. According to WHO, surgical and procedure masks do not provide protection from small airborne particles and should not be worn for small-particle generating procedures.

Uses and Prevention

Allergy sufferers can avoid allergy symptoms from mould spores, dust and pollen when working in the garden by wearing a HEPA mask. According to, a HEPA mask provides the best filtration against airborne oil and non-oil based particles, bacteria, and viruses such as H1N1, Avian flu and SARS.

Hepa Mask Specifications

According to, HEPA masks have fully adjustable straps and seal tightly to the face. They have a respirator valve with replaceable filters and they come in medium and large sizes.

Disposable one-size-fits-all HEPA masks are also available and provide true HEPA filtration. They have fully adjustable straps and seal tightly to the face.

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About the Author

Katherine Marko has been a professional writer for more than five years. She has attended the University of Toronto for English. Her work has appeared in several online publications. Marko is also a licensed aesthetician with expertise in nutrition and beauty.