Frequently Asked Safety Questions

Have a question not answered below? Contact us!

How much does a mask or respirator cost?

You can pick up a cloth mask for a dollar. You can spend $1,000 on a respirator. What is the difference?

This link from the CDC is filled with detailed data.

In brief, cloth masks are a minimal form of protection. ($1-$5/each)

Masks like a surgical mask can provide better protection but be careful about the gaps around the mouth and nose. ($3-$10/each)

Any amount of facial hair will also increase the ability of airborne particles to get into your lungs.

Tight fitting respirators require a fit test and no facial hair but increase the level of protection. ($30-150/each)

Finally, a loose fitting respirator allows facial hair and a loose fit because it creates positive pressure with a constant flow of HEPA filtered air. ($500-$1500/each)

How should I choose between respirator options?

In a pinch, take whatever protection you have available.

If it’s cloth, surgical or N95.

In the longer term work with your internal safety team to determine the need. This link from our blog helps sort OSHA's workplace Guidance.

Some companies, like RPB Safety, have a Buy To Try program. This is an excellent way to try a product with the ability of hassle free return if it doesn’t work out for your application.

We are also happy to work with you and look at a variety of options from masks to N95, N99 and a variety of respirators from 3M, Honeywell and GVS/RPB.

Respirator Types Walkthrough Video.

Which distributor is right for me?

Choosing a Distributor

  • Should I go with the big ones like Fastenal, Grainger and Air Gas?

Many larger companies have national contracts with national distributors. That is excellent for large purchases on multiple sites. Large distributors can also offer things like vending programs and embedded onsite personnel.

  • Should I go with Amazon?

Amazon is great for delivery and sometimes price. They have excelled in the consumer marketplace but won’t be able to visit onsite or deal with specific product questions or issues. If you know exactly what you want and are very confident in the supplier, Amazon can be excellent.

  • Should I go with a speciality distributor?

A specialty distributor can provide greater expertise on specific products or areas of business. For example, Manus (part of Allredi) in Canada provides expertise in blasting as does Norton’s in the Eastern US. Stauffer Glove and EnviroSafety/GuardianSafety are excellent examples of specialty distributors in their sectors and regions.

At X1, we provide national expertise in the high heat market (for purchase or rental), respiratory market in healthcare, manufacturing, construction and power generation, as well as highly competitive online shopping and the ability to set up a company safety store for customers.

In the end, you have to determine your requirements and the best match for your needs. If we can help, we are more than happy to. Contact us.

How often should I change my filter?

Changing Respirator Filters

  • Firstly – we need to determine which filter we are talking about.

    Many respirators come with a PRE FILTER, like the RPB PX5.

    That is the most economical choice to change and best place to start.

    We have customers that replace that filter daily and in some cases even twice per day.

    In less dusty environments like healthcare, weekly or twice per month is a good standard.

    Every situation is unique so you need to check with your infectious control specialists, safety officer, or qualified person at your facility.

    For the main filter, in heavy environments, replacing daily or twice weekly is not uncommon.

    With a standard HEPA filter, weekly or twice monthly is not uncommon in a healthcare setting.

  • For some respirators like the elipse or integra from GVS, there is no prefilter, so changing the HEPA filters is the only option. That said, a weekly or twice monthly change is not uncommon in healthcare settings, and daily or weekly is not uncommon in heavier/industrial environments.

    When using a multi-gas or OV/AG (organic vapor/acid gas) filter, your safety team should inform you of your change out protocol.

    It will be determined by the levels of gas and vapor and the exposure time as well as humidity levels, elevation and local factors at your facility.

    In summary, change the prefilter often. It’s economical and ensures extended life of the main filter.

Company Stores Walk-Through

6 Easy Steps to Setup Your Online Company Safety Store

Company Safety Store - Custom Store Pages featuring only products approved for your teams.

  1. View Demo Safety Store


I have a question that isn't answered here.

Call or email X1 Safety with any questions you have!

Call (833) 408-0500  |  Email

Or reach out to your account manager:

Call Daryl at (248) 221-8076 or email

Call Philip at (865) 244-5229 or email

Call Keith at (310) 894-3950 or email

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