5 Best Face Masks For Removing Asbestos

Author: Reece Thompson | Updated on August 31, 2020

You want to leave asbestos handling to the professionals in most cases. If you have a minor task in areas relating to asbestos, these quality masks will suffice.

a dign saying danger: asbestos removal in progress
We should leave dealing with, handling, and removing asbestos to the professionals.

However, if you're potentially working in an area that might have asbestos lingering, ensure the mask you use:

meets the minimum standards according to law
has replaceable filters that can be easily interchanged
is within your budget for your needs
In short, don't be cheap about it, and don't compromise safety!

You don't need to buy the latest designed styles, extra straps, and other gimmicks.

What you do need to be on top of is:

the actual filter quality
testing results and
price changes.
FYI, if your work concerns sawing, mining, and so on, the following products will be of benefit to you. Please click on the link and read the descriptions before committing.

Let's get to it. We list our top 5 face masks to wear for removing asbestos.

Is Asbestos Removal a Regulated Industry?

Due to the recognised dangers, the HSE and other work protection agencies have detailed legislation concerning the handling of asbestos.

Can Asbestos Cause Cancer?

We all know that airborne asbestos is a lurking danger in old buildings, even if it’s present in tiny amounts.

It can be dangerous to the lungs and is recognised to be cancer-causing.

Why are masks not marked as 'Asbestos Safe'?

A part of the reason why equipment manufacturers like 3M do not explicitly rate equipment as “asbestos-rated” or even as “asbestos respirator” could be liability concerns.

1. Nasum M301

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This will not feel heavy, but it does provide excellent air circulation.

Its dual filtration feature is reliable when it comes to keeping yourself safe. If you have heat and moisture accumulation after wearing a mask, you'll be happy to know it prevents this.

The Nasum 6200 mask comes in handy if you work in cement production, factories, etc. The two filter boxes have a 99.95% filtration accuracy. Its easy-to-adjust headbands come with a flexible nose-piece for greater comfort and fit.
Positives
  1. 99.95% effectiveness
  2. Comfortable headband
Negatives
  1. Filter installation is a bit confusing

2. OHMotor HG-600

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This full-face mask does a great job of keeping asbestos and other toxic elements out of your system. It is effective in keeping organic vapours such as carbon, benzene, and aniline away from you.

This is suitable for professionals who have to spend time in a hazardous environment. Since this is a full face mask, you no longer have to wear lab goggles.

You get two filter cartridges and two filter cotton in the box. The filtering system is top-notch. Besides its 5 point head harness, create a balanced pressure so that you get used to it.

Removing the headband is easy enough. The lens offers you a wide view, and sound transmission allows communication.
Positives
  1. Active carbon-filtration system
  2. Quality sound transmission
Negatives
  1. Feels tight and heavy

3. GVS SPR501

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If you are on the hunt for a cheap, good face mask for removing asbestos, consider the GVS SPR501 as a good option. It offers protection against airborne particles as well as toxic gas and vapours. It flaunts a sophisticated look from the outside while being soft on the skin.

Food grade silicone is on the face cover without compromising a tight fit. Its flow piston eliminates moisture and heat inside the mask for reducing fatigue.

The 99.95% filtering capacity is top-notch indeed. Whether asbestos is in a low or high concentration, this will give you support when dealing with it. The face mask, having passed the CE certification, shouldn’t worry you about its quality.

The detachable filters allow the mask to be used over and over again. Cleaning the facepiece will not affect its high durability.
Positives
  1. A high-quality flow valve
  2. Ensures a tight fit
  3. Cheapest compared to others
Negatives
  1. Might not meet the stringent of guidelines for commercial work

4. 3M 6300

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Face masks from the 3M series are quite comfortable. This offers you the benefits of a disposable mask along with the features of a reusable one. It is compatible with a wide range of 3M filters.

This half face mask tackles many hazardous particles that may pose a threat to your system. The filter attachments sport a swept-back design for improving visibility and balance.

The 3M 6300 is very easy to wear and stays put all through the day. Decontaminating them is a breeze. After a while, you have to change the filters.

The head straps are comfortable and provide a good fit. The storage pouch is a bonus.

What we like about this model is that there are change points on the facepiece. They make sure that personal protection equipment can be worn without a hassle.

PROS
Positives
  1. Easy to disassemble
  2. Compatible with personal safety wearables
Negatives
  1. Does not come with cartridges

5. Drager X-plore 3300

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In construction, or living in a specific area is making you susceptible to asbestos, this is perfect. It is of a robust build but does not feel heavy on your face. The double filter system reinforces the safety against toxic fibres.

What we like about its ABEK1 Hg P3 RD filters is that they are EN 140 certified. Moreover, your vision will not be compromised wearing this face mask.

Drager X-plore aced their mask game with this respirator set. The material is soft TPE, keeping it on for a longer time will be less fatiguing than you might think. Using this mask will not fog up your glasses.

While the mask fits your face, the straps are, in no way, uncomfortable. The adjustable straps alongside the neck clips make way for a head harness.
Positives
  1. Soft TPE material
  2. Comfortable harness
Negatives
  1. The average durability of filters
guttering showing asbestos pipes

How We Decided On Our Winner

This was our list of top 5 face masks for removing asbestos. But if we are to pick a winner, it has to be NASUM M101 asbestos respirator! It is an ideal face mask filter quality, fitness, nosepiece, and headband as well as a top-notch flow valve.

While the other four do a smart job, they could not provide an all-around service like the M101. It ensures good heat dissipation and keeps you comfortable in the working hours. It is compatible with common protective wearables such as lab goggles and earmuffs!
construction worker wearing a pink and yellow dust mask

FAQ and Buying Guide

Why Do You Need a Face Mask for Removing Asbestos?

You may think you have good immunity, our lungs are delicate and stand no chance against chemicals. Sooner or later, we are bound to drop by the doctor's chamber with some wild symptoms. Here are a few reasons why you should consider wearing an asbestos respirator right away!

Risks of Pleural Diseases

Exposure to asbestos poses a long term threat to your healthy respiratory system. Airborne asbestos fibres get stuck in your lungs, and your body is unable to remove them. Pleural diseases such as rounded atelectasis are common when you bypass wearing mask.

Health Hazards

Mesothelioma being the number one disease you can catch, airborne asbestos is a red flag. Mesothelioma, a malignant tumour, can appear in the lining of the heart, lungs, or abdomen. There are risks of cancer and a short 12-month life expectancy after diagnosis.

Living Near Industrial Sites

If you're near an industrial site, some particles do get out of their filters and contaminate the air. Using a face mask when you step outside for long hours will end the chances of catching asbestos in your lungs or inhaling harmful vapours.

What to Look For in a Good Asbestos Respirator?

Ovarian cancer may be averted if you use a respirator. Checking the face mask that you're about to buy against our buying guide below will help you pick the best one!

Dual Filtration System

Quality filter boxes protect from both aqueous and solid particles. The flow valve is an important thing to notice here because the efficiency of the masks depends a great deal on it.

One valve rotates upwards while the other rotates downwards. This type of filtration tends to have a whopping 99.95% accuracy.
professionals on top of a shed removing sheets
Comfortable Headband

If the headband is not able to create pressure across your head, something is bound to be hurting. Good quality headbands have adjustable straps that create a balanced pressure to keep the mask fitted. Comfortable straps take the hassle away from donning and doffing!

Sound Transmission System

Talking to co-workers is sometimes necessary while working. Having to take the mask off often, for this reason, is a bummer. So, respirators with good sound transmission are our favourites.

Compatibility with Protective Wearables

If the respirator misses out on an ergonomic shape, it gets hard for you to complement it with other protective wearables. If the placement of the nosepiece is off the mark, it can create discomfort while wearing lab goggles. This way, your security against asbestos and gases gets compromised.

CE Certification

CE certified face masks earn trust, especially when there are many price ranges.

Tips for Using an Asbestos Respirator

Whether you prefer a half-face or a full-face, the tips listed below will be handy!

Ensure a Tight Fit

Asbestos can do a lot of damage for a microscopic fibre. A fitted mask prevents all chances of your nose and mouth coming in contact with asbestos.

Change The Filters Often

As the filters absorb not only asbestos but dust and steam, changing them is a must. Using the mask in a humid environment will cause the filters to deteriorate quicker. Keep that in mind and change them.

Look Out for Carbon Leakage

Carbon leakage is a sign that it is time you swapped the filters. Yet, if it is only a small amount, there's no reason to worry yet.

Decontamination & Cleaning

Cleaning the facepiece with a neutral detergent in lukewarm water does the job. Disinfect the facepiece in a quaternary ammonia or sodium hypochlorite solution. The cartridges and filters should be disposed of.
Our Winner...
Nasum M301