|Evaluation, Testing, and Certification
||Must be approved by Health Canada and certified to an accepted standard.
||Must be approved by Health Canada and certified to an accepted standard (such as ASTM F2100 or EN14683).
Not all masks which have the appearance of medical masks meet regulatory standards.
||Not evaluated or tested to recognized standards in Canada and are not considered medical devices.
||Protect from exposure to and spread of respiratory particles.
||Function as a barrier to respiratory particles and spit.
||Help limit the spread of respiratory particles and spit.
|Fit (Face Seal)
||Designed to seal snugly against the face. Respirator fit testing is required in workplace settings where tight-fitting
respiratory devices are needed to protect workers from exposure to agents that can cause occupational illness.
||Not designed to seal snugly against the face. The fit can be improved by different methods such as adjusting
the ties or ear loops and the flexible nosepiece.
||Not designed to seal snugly against the face. The fit can be improved by using different methods, such as adjusting
ties, bands or ear loops and flexible nosepiece (if included).
||Respirator filters that collect at least 95% of particles in the air (including respiratory particles) are
given a 95 rating.
||Can filter respiratory particles and spit which carry pathogens, though not as effectively as respirators.
||Can help reduce the spread of respiratory particles and spit which carry pathogens. Performance is highly
variable and dependent upon their construction and fit.
||Generally single use but repurposing may be appropriate in certain circumstances, until visibly dirty,
damp, or damaged. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Fit testing can be performed to optimize fit
and may be mandatory for some occupational exposures.
||Generally single use, but repurposing may be appropriate in certain circumstances until visibly dirty,
damp, or damaged. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and get the best fit.
||Effectiveness depends on materials, construction, fit, and use. Can be difficult to breathe through
fabric. Requires washing between uses.
|Who Should Use and When
||A risk assessment can identify those who require respiratory protection for exposure to a biological
hazard at work and suggest an appropriate respirator. Examples include workers in high-risk settings
(e.g., long-term care homes) or anyone meeting criteria identified by the local public health authority.
||A risk assessment can identify those who should wear a medical mask. Examples include workers in
healthcare settings, anyone who has symptoms of a respiratory infectious disease, provides direct care
to a someone with a respiratory infectious disease, or someone who is at higher risk of more severe
disease or outcomes. Use when a suitable respirator is not available.
||A non-medical mask is acceptable in situations when mask wearing is recommended but a suitable respirator
or medical mask is not available (a non-medical mask is not a substitute for a respirator or medical mask
recommended in a risk assessment). Examples include restaurant workers and public transit operators.