3 Steps for Choosing a Cleanroom Mask

In a cleanroom environment, the right mask is essential for preventing contamination from skin flakes, oils, perspiration, and hair, as well as for protecting the cleanroom operator from known and unknown risks. That’s why selecting the right face mask for your cleanroom application is so critical.

Here are three simple steps to help you choose:

  1. Identify the work environment. Do you need a mask for a pharmaceutical or biotech environment? For semiconductor, electronics or medical device manufacturing? Different environments require different protection. Your distributor or manufacturer can help you select the mask for your needs.
  2. Choose the appropriate style. Traditional pleated masks fit close to the face and some offer exceptional breathability. However, if the mask touches your lips or gets wet, consider a pouch style. Pouch designs keep masks from getting damp. They also have a larger breathing chamber, which makes breathing easier, and a consistent seal to reduce fogging.
  3. Determine the attachment. For a secure fit that will reduce the risk of particles escaping, look for masks with durable, ultrasonically bonded ear loops and ties. Some masks also are available with knitted headbands or snaps to ensure a tight facial seal.


After you’ve made your selection, it’s important to ensure the mask fits properly for maximum protection.


Here are five steps to ensure a proper fit:

  1. Make sure the pleats or pouches point down, to avoid picking up contaminants or debris.
  2. Put the mask on with the shiny side on the outside and the softer material on the inside.
  3. Adjust the head attachment. If you have trouble tying the mask behind your head, stand still and close your eyes while doing it.
  4. Pinch the bridge of the mask. (This will help fit the mask to your face and minimize fogging if you are wearing goggles or glasses.)
  5. Last, remember to smile when wearing a mask. Even if your coworkers can’t see you, it will make you all feel better!

For more on Cleanrooms, also visit:

Cleanroom Design and Construction

Thomas Scientific ISO Certification

Is Your Mop System Really Working for You?

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