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How to Wear a Disposable Dust Mask

A disposable dust mask is invaluable for protecting the wearer from airborne environmental hazards associated with agriculture work, wood dust and other potential allergens in the air. A disposable dust mask will not provide complete protection from every harmful substance, but it will lessen a person's exposure in potentially dangerous situations. Follow the recommended procedure for wearing a disposable dust mask to ensure proper fit and protection.

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  1. Hold the dust mask in your dominant hand, so that the narrow end with the nose clip is near your fingertips. Allow the elastic straps to dangle under your hand.

  2. Bring the dust mask up to your face with the narrow end (the nose clip end) near your nose. Position the other end of the dust mask under your chin.

  3. Grasp the bottom elastic strap, and pull it over your head and past your ears. Position it around your neck. Grasp the top elastic strap, and pull it over the top of your head. Position it at the upper back of your head.

  4. Pinch the nose clip gently around the bridge of your nose.

  5. Check the fit of the mask by covering the mask with your hands. Exhale through your nose and then your mouth. As you exhale, feel with your hands to see if air leaks out around the mask edges. Adjust the straps if you feel air leaking. Consider choosing another mask style or size if you cannot stop air from leaking out from the sides of the mask.

  6. Store the dust mask in a brown paper bag when you are not wearing it. Never store it in a location where dust may contaminate it while you are not wearing it.

  7. Tip

    Use only approved dust masks with two elastic straps and a test-certified number stamped on to the mask. People with facial hair may experience difficulty achieving a tight seal with a disposable dust mask.


    Discard the mask if you notice difficulty breathing while wearing the mask. Over time, dust particles will cover the mask; discard the dust mask when this occurs. If you begin to smell odours or notice tastes in your mouth while wearing the dust mask, replace the mask.

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Things You'll Need

  • Disposable dust mask
  • Brown paper bag

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

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