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It can be confusing shopping for respirators. The fact is, there are a lot of different types of PPEs that go by the name respirator. Some act simply as dust masks and keep the dust out while others cover the whole head and filter out the noxious and toxic. The short list includes: respiratory masks, gas masks, respiratory protection, breathing masks, breathing apparatus, niosh respirators, 3m respirators, msa respirators, respirator masks, full face respirators, fresh air respirators, supplied air respirator, respirator cartridge, air respirators, osha respiratory protection, n95 respirator masks. Whatever you call them, respirators are a vital piece of personal protective equipment.