Dust forms virtually everywhere we go. Household dust is mainly composed of skin cells, hair, clothing fibers, bacteria, dust mites, bits of dead bugs, soil, and other airborne particles that settle on surfaces. Exposure to dust can irritate the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract. Prolonged exposure to industrial and construction related particles can even lead to illness, including silicosis, coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, and even death.


Wearing a dust mask or a respirator is one of the easiest ways to reduce or eliminate your exposure to dust, pollen, chemical pollutants, mold, bacteria, and other contaminants. It’s best to wear a face mask when working in potentially hazardous industries, such as mining and construction, and when engaging in recreational activities, such as woodworking, riding an ATV, and even cleaning your house if you are sensitive to airborne particles. 

We carry a wide variety of face masks at PK Safety, including disposable dust masks and reusable respirators. You will also find a selection of face masks specifically designed to protect against certain pathogens and airborne hazards, including asbestos and paint fumes. If you can’t find the dust mask you’re looking for at your local store, PK Safety has you covered.

You can shop for dust masks by color, price, and brand. We carry the best brands in the safety equipment industry. Moldex and 3M dust masks, including N95 respirators, have been approved by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). For example, 3M’s 8233 N100 mask is the best high-rated respirator against lead, metal fumes, certain radioactive particulate materials, and non-oil-based mists. Look for this NIOSH certification when deciding on the best dust mask for the job.

It’s important to replace your mask often as it fills with dirt. Some respirators can be used for months or years on end before needing repair. In general, all of these masks should be discarded after they become soiled, or if breathing becomes difficult.

Learn more about dust masks we carry, including how to wear them and how to choose the right style and type for the task at hand. 

NIOSH Items: We only sell brand new respirators, filters, and dust masks from US based manufacturers. Since it can be difficult to determine if a respirator or mask has been used or even just tried on, for the protection of our customers, we do not accept NIOSH returns.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dust Masks:

Do dust masks protect against flu?

Wearing a dust mask or respirator can help protect you from the flu as well as airborne viruses, including the coronavirus that causes COVID-19; however, they don’t offer 100% protection. These masks can help block the spread of respiratory droplets containing influenza, but transmission is still possible. If you are looking for Covid-19 PPE and to protect yourself from the flu, the CDC recommends an N95 as your best option. Cloth masks don’t offer the same level of protection as the N95. N95 masks come with a NIOSH approval and are commonly used in the healthcare industry. 

How to wear dust masks?

When donning the dust mask respirator, it should fit over your nose and mouth with the straps going either around your ears or behind your head. If you have a full-face mask, it will cover your entire face. The mask should be comfortable to wear, especially if you need to wear it for long periods. Consider finding a mask with an adjustable strap or one that wraps around your head so the strings don’t pull at your ears. Use the strap to adjust the fit. It should provide a tight seal and fit securely on your face without leaving any gaps for contaminants to get through. On some masks you can also use the nose clip to shape the top of the mask securely around your nose.

Where to buy dust masks?

You can buy dust masks and some types of respirators at most hardware stores and pharmacies. They mostly carry disposable face masks designed to be thrown away after a few uses. Hardware stores often cater to construction professionals and those doing tasks around the house. The best dust mask for professional woodworkers is a half face respirator. Brick and mortar stores only have a certain number of products to sell. They may run out if there is a public health emergency. You will find a greater selection of dust masks online. These retailers tend to have a greater stockpile of goods to sell, so there’s less of a chance that they will run out when you need them most. Stick with reputable online stores that provide masks from trusted dust mask brands.

Can you reuse dust masks?

You can reuse some dust masks if you are only using them for a few minutes or hours at a time. However, disposable face masks need to be replaced often. The material may get wet or stained, limiting its ability to block particles and other contaminants. The straps will also become loose over time. If the mask doesn’t seal over the face, replace it immediately.

Will a dust mask stop asbestos?

If you are working near or around asbestos, you need to wear either a full-face or half-face respirator with proper P100 rated filters and cartridges. Common dust masks are not sufficient in protecting against asbestos, which can be found in many consumer and industrial products.

Contact the professionals at PK Safety for more information about using dust masks.