Masks and respirators are essential during an outbreak such as COVID-19. The masks help slow the spread of the disease and protect workers, clients and the public. Both masks and respirators need to be used in combination with appropriate eye protection (e.g., face shield, goggles) to achieve full protection of the eyes, nose and mouth. There are a number of different types of masks and respirators to choose from and each have a particular use in a particular setting. 

Respiratory protection protects employees in work environments with insufficient oxygen or where harmful dust, fog, smoke, mist, fumes, gases or vapors may be present. The cost of not adequately protecting workers is high and includes health hazards like cancer, lung diseases and even death. An effective respiratory protection program should be designed to prevent exposure to harmful air and prevent occupational illness. In this section, we cover all aspects of respiratory protection, how to ensure workers are protected and how to gauge the effectiveness of a respiratory protection program.

Benefits of N95 Respirators

The N95 respirators have been rigorously tested in pandemic preparedness studies and it was found as a result that this surgical mask provides sufficient protection against many substances including diseases such as H1N1 Avian Flu and SARS.

It offers the wearer:

  • >99.9% (BFE) Bacterial Filtration Efficiency
  • >99.5% (PFE) Particle Filtration Efficiency
  • >99.9% (VFE) Viral Filtration Efficiency

Types of Respirators

Finding the right type of respirators, and making sure it fits the wearer, can mean the difference between life and death in environments where poisonous gases, dust, vapours and other hazards potentially exist. Know what the atmospheric conditions are to remain safe and choose the appropriate level of protection for that potential hazard. Below are the main categories of respiratory protection.

  • disposable
  • half/full
  • cartridges & filters
  • papr
  • supplied air


You’re required to wear a respirator if you work with any of these hazards: insufficient oxygen, harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, chemicals, mists, gases, vapors, sprays, biological hazards, or silica.

Source: OSHA standards 1910.134 and 1926.103

Explore Procedural and N95 equivalent respirators made by Canadians, for Canadians in healthcare and daily life.

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About the Omnia Face Mask

The OMNIA is our all-purpose, high-quality procedure mask that is proudly made in Canada. With its highperformance light-weight exterior and enhanced nose bridge seal the OMNIA provides surgical grade protection and comfort when you need it. We have applied our innovative technology and best practices in mask design and manufacturing to create the ultimate in personal protective equipment (PPE) for peace of mind in either healthcare settings or daily life.

Explaination of Disposable Types, N, R and P

Selecting the correct type of disposable mask starts with identifying the potential airborne contaminants which can be done via air sampling or testing. Disposable masks are identified by NIOSH numbers, and are designated with an N, R or P. N series filters are limited to atmospheres that are free from aerosolized oil. They can be used for any solid or liquid airborne particulates that do not contain oil. R series filters can be used for removal of any particulates, including oil-based liquid aerosols. P series filters  are designed to block 99.9 percent of particles .3 microns or larger. 

Omnia Medical Specifications

ASTM F2100-19 (Levels of protection) Level 1  Level 2  Level 3 
BFE (ASTM F2101-19) ≥95% ≥98% ≥98%
PFE (ASTM F2299) ≥95% ≥98% ≥98%
Differential Pressure (EN 14683 Annex C) <5.0 mm H2O/cm2 <6.0 mm H2O/cm2 <6.0 mm H2O/cm2
Fluid Resistance (ASTM F1862) 80 mmHg 120 mmHg 160 mmHg
Flammability (16 CFR Part 1610) Class 1 Class 1 Class 1

Superior comfort for Healthcare & Frontline Staff

  • 100% Biocompatible materials to minimize irritation over long shifts
  • Comfortable, form fitting mask body
  • All-aluminium nose bridge
  • Durable, flexible ear loops
  • Superior breathability

Healthcare Applications, Infection Control Practices, Protection from Airborne Pathogens

  • Dye free
  • Latex free
  • Fluid resistant
  • Electretfilter
  • Provides protection from small particle aerosols
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