Tackling the global shortage of dust masks


The spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has moved away from China and is multiplying at an alarming rate across Europe and the rest of the world. The rise in numbers has led to a lot of anxiety, not only for our families but for our employees and colleagues too. How can those who require a dust mask or respirator perform their job safely if there is a global shortage of a vital piece of equipment?

COVID-19 is new and unchartered territory and with that comes a fear of the unknown. Suddenly people who traditionally would not own a face mask or respirator began to buy them. Coupled with this, much of China was put under lockdown to try and contain the virus. Unfortunately, this has had an enormous impact on the global supply of PPE and RPE including both disposable and reusable respirators.

With integrated supply chains the spread of COVID-19 has exacerbated an already difficult situation for businesses trying to satisfy the needs of their industry and keep them safe.

Now many employers have the difficult task of finding a safe solution for completing dust generating tasks. There is another option that is both safe and kinder to the environment. There are manufacturers including JSP who supply reusable respirators. JSP Force respirators are reusable, they can be easily stripped, cleaned, maintained and reused for an indefinite period of time. Replacement filters whilst not indefinite, last far longer than single use disposable respirators. We recommend 1-3 days for high use, 3-5 days for medium use and 28 days maximum for light use.


Cleaning a reusable respirator is very simple and straightforward.


  1. Remove filters (discard if blocked)
  2. Remove exhalation valve cover
  3. Remove harness
  4. Remove diaphragm


  1. Clean mask body with soapy water
  2. Clean exhalation valve cover
  3. Clean diaphragm
  4. Dry all components


  1. Replace diaphragm
  2. Replace harness
  3. Replace exhalation valve cover
  4. Replace filters (new pair if required)

JSP Powered Air PAPR systems are also a UK manufactured alternative, which negates the need for Face Fit Testing.

Don’t let the lack of disposable dust masks or respirators become a hurdle to overcome, use it as an opportunity to educate both yourself and your colleagues on the different type of reusable ones instead. See it as a chance to reduce your impact on the environment and how much your company sends to landfill each year – use it, clean it, use it again.

There is a lot of uncertainty in the coming months but there are many alternative options to overcome the hurdles that businesses will face. Workwear and PPE suppliers are in constant contact with their suppliers and customers to minimise any impact on the supply chain and provide effective solutions. By keeping the lines of communication open and staying flexible in our approach we will continue to keep your workforce protected and safe.