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Structure of a full face mask or respirator

Respiratory protection masks offer reliable protection against toxic environmental influences, which are mainly absorbed through the mouth or nose. A full-face mask, as opposed to a half-face mask, protects the entire face to prevent absorption through mucous membranes such as the eyes. Such a respiratory protection mask has a complex structure. It consists of a mask body, usually made of elastomer or silicone, and sealed lenses.

In addition, there is an exhalation valve, a speech membrane and a connection for a regulator or breathing filter. Most masks also contain an inner mask or air channel, which reduces the air space and prevents the lenses from fogging up. The mask is slipped over the head and fixed to the back of the head. Breathing creates a negative pressure in the mask. For exhalation, the air is forced out through the open exhalation valve.

Full-face mask for respiratory protection: Areas of application

Full-face masks can be used in a wide variety of applications. Typical applications are:

  • Building sites and restoration work
  • Painting and varnishing
  • Waste sorting plants and landfills
  • Rescue services (fire brigade, technical relief organisation)
  • Military operations

Wide range of full face masks from Dräger and Co.

At you will find a large selection of full-face masks from the industry leader Dräger. For several generations, the family-owned company has made a name for itself internationally in safety and medical technology.

The high-quality full-face masks can be purchased as single-filter models (such as the Dräger X-plore 6530) or as dual-filter models (such as the Dräger X-plore 5500). All products meet the highest standards of comfort and tightness and offer comprehensive eye and respiratory protection. Combined with the optional Dräger X-plore filters, Dräger full face masks offer maximum safety in all situations.

How to find the right filter for your full face mask

Filters make it possible to use the mask as a self-contained breathing apparatus. The full-face mask with filter must always be adapted to the pollutant to be filtered and the amount of pollutant to be filtered.

The filters are divided into classes from one to three according to the increasing amount of substance to be filtered and the type of substance (gas or particles). In addition, they are labelled with a letter for the substance to be filtered. To avoid confusion, a colour code is often assigned to the substance. An overview of the most important substances and the corresponding filters can be found in the following table:

Pollutant Filter code colour Filter code letter
Particle & Room white P
Organic gases & vapours brown A, AX
Inorganic gases & vapours grey B
Acid gases yellow E
Ammonia and derivatives grn K
Carbon monoxide black CO

Buying a full-face respirator – what you should look out for

The full-face masks that can be purchased differ in numerous criteria that are relevant for a comfortable and safe wearing feeling over longer periods of time, but also for intuitive handling.

Filter connection

Filters can be screwed onto the mask via a thread or simply connected to the mask via a bayonet catch. The full face masks available from predominantly incorporate the innovative bayonet fitting.

Filtering technology

Filtering technology is critical to protect against pollutants, but it should also make breathing as easy as possible. Modern filter ing technology balances both requirements and can provide the highest classes of filtering while maintaining a consistent breathing efficiency.


For optimum use, it is particularly advantageous for longer periods of wear if the respirator is as light as possible. High-performance materials with low mass and high stability are a quality feature here.

Mask body

The mask bodies can be made of EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) and have good ageing resistance even at high temperatures, high elasticity and above all chemical resistance to polar chemicals such as hydrogen sulphide. An alternative is silicone, which has its strengths in comfort and elasticity at low temperatures.


The lenses can be made of PMMA (plexiglass) for a wide range of industrial applications. The advantage here is the excellent scratch resistance and optimum stability even in adverse weather conditions. Polycarbonate is the alternative when low weight and high impact resistance are required. A third variant is a chemically and thermally resistant triplex lens.

Full-face mask for spectacle wearers

Wearing a respiratory protection mask often causes difficulties for spectacle wearers. Classic glasses with temples cannot be used in combination with full-face masks, as the mask can no longer rest directly on the skin at this point, resulting in leaks. Glasses with rubber straps are also not an option, as these straps are also pulled over the ears and thus lead to leaks.

An alternative design for a full-face mask for spectacle wearers are specially available mask goggles which can be clamped into the mask, such as the Panorama Nova mask goggles from Dräger. These goggles must be fitted with the appropriate optically corrected lenses by an optician and can then be used in the mask. Rarely, the lenses are also exchanged and replaced with optically corrected lenses.

Order full face mask at Expert advice included!

You would like to equip your staff with a full face mask, but would like advice on the various options? Contact us and our experts at will be happy to provide you with competent and personal advice at any time. You can reach us by phone at +49 30 2096579 00 or by e-mail at [email protected]