How to ensure your respirator fits correctly during Movember

Last Updated on March 22, 2018 by

How to ensure your respirator fits correctly during Movember

November has now become synonymous with men growing their facial hair in order to raise money and awareness for men’s health issues, such as prostate and testicular cancer.

Many men get involved with ‘Movember‘ every year, all helping towards this great cause.

But what happens if part of your day job involves wearing a tight fitting respirator?

Does this mean you can’t get involved with the fun?

Well, it may mean you can’t grow a full on beard, but there are some clever ways around it.

You just have to get creative!

We found this great chart on

The chart shows the different styles of facial hair you can get away with, and still be able to comfortably and safely wear a respirator.

It also shows the ones you won’t be able to get away with! (click on chart to enlarge)

How to ensure your respirator fits correctly during Movember

Why is it important for a respirator to have a tight seal?

A respirator must form a tight seal on the face in order for the wearer to receive maximum respiratory protection.

Facial hair such as beards, sideburns and mustaches will get in the way of the sealing area, meaning a tight fit cannot be obtained.

This is the reason why most of the time, men with facial hair can’t be fit tested.

Even a day or two of stubble can interfere with the fit of a face mask, reducing it’s protection.

Research shows that the presence of facial hair under the sealing surface causes 20 to 1000 times more leakage of harmful substances compared to those who are clean shaven.

The respirator, properly fitted, protects the wearer against fumes, poisonous gases, asbestos and dust particles.

Providing the facial hair is kept well within the sealing surface as shown in the chart above, then it is possible to still wear a respirator safely and ensure maximum protection.

Want to get involved with this years Movember?

Decided on what style of mustache you want to grow?

Ensured that it won’t affect the seal and fit of your respirator?

Then it’s not too late to get involved and help raise some funds for this great cause.

Simply head on over to the website for more info and to sign up


Duty holders and employers have a legal responsibility to manage asbestos in their building so as not to put employees at risk. Contact our Armco office for asbestos management and refurbishment/ demolition surveys on 0161 763 3727 or by visiting

Alternatively, to book onto one of our asbestos training courses, please call 0161 761 4424 or visit 



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Published Nov 06, 2017

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