In day to day language we often say mask, when referring to what are technically called respirators.
Uses for Masks:
Masks are loose fitting, covering the nose and mouth.
Designed for one-way protection, to capture bodily fluid leaving the wearer.
Example – worn during surgery to prevent coughing, sneezing, etc on the vulnerable patient.
Contrary to belief, masks are NOT designed to protect the wearer.
The vast majority of masks do not have a safety rating assigned to them (e.g. NIOSH or EN).
Uses for Respirators:
Respirators are tight fitting masks, designed to create a facial seal.
Non-valved respirators provide good two-way protection, by filtering both inflow and outflow of air.
These are designed protect the wearer (when worn properly), up to the safety rating of the mask.
Available as disposable, half face or full face.