The global pandemic the world is facing has had several impacts on the lives of people and countries. In response to this outbreak, public health bodies have had to suggest several ways to curtail the spread of the virus. These ways include the social distancing, the lockdown rule, wearing of face masks and regular washing of hands. Wearing of face masks is arguably the most significant habit people have had to get familiar with in this season.

The demand for face masks has risen globally and has led to several people wearing different types of face masks and face shield with little or no knowledge on which is appropriate or recommended. It is of no news that we are yet to get to the peak of the pandemic as predicted by foremost epidemiologists, and as such demand for face masks will keep increasing in homes, institutions and hospitals.

Comparing the 3M 8210 Particulate Respirator to The 3M 8210plus Particulate Respirator

Users that have no business with respirator comparisons will find it quite hard to differentiate between these masks. This situation is expected as they are very similar. Both items are general-purpose disposable respirators for personal safety made by the 3M brand. Both respirators have been approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to fit into the N-95 category. This means they have at least 95% filtration efficiency against certain non-oil based particles for both types. Hence, they are N-95 respirators. Also, they do not have the acid-gas reduction function, and their buckle straps are not adjustable. The aerosol type filtered by both respirators is in the “non-oil” category. They are not compatible with welding shield and do not filter carbon material.

Despite these similarities, some differences exist between them. Features unique to 3M 8210 include the two-strap design and staple free dual point attachment which helps provide a secure seal. It also has to cushion nose foam, and the respirator size is small. Additionally, it has been authorized for emergency use by healthcare professionals.

The 3M 8210plus, on the other hand, has braided headbands with two-strap comfort design. It also has a staple-free dual point attachment; which helps in providing a comfortable and secure seal.

Which Can You Use?

The 3M 8210 is authorized for use during the public health emergency of the COVID-19 by healthcare professionals according to the U.S. FDA's Emergency Use Authorization. However, it is not cleared by the U.S. FDA as a surgical mask. Since it is not fluid-resistant, users must wear a face shield during use.

The application of 3M 8210 is also recommended in the following aspects; assembly and mechanical, cleaning, bagging, composite finishing, dry chemical handling, foundry operations, grinding, final finish, lead abatement, paint preparation, pharmaceutical manufacturing, sanding,  

petrochemical manufacturing, and welding. It can also be utilized for industrial purposes like; commercial buildings, food processing, constructions, food safety, mining, oil and gas transportation, heavy infrastructure, and general manufacturing.

The 3M 8210plus is used for general purpose. It is also recommended for all industrial purposes as mentioned for 3M 8210. Additionally, it can be used against dust and other particles. It is particularly helpful in the protection against airborne biological particles. Hence, it helps prevent users from contracting COVID-19 disease.


Every workplace has a respirator standard. However, home users neither determine their exposure levels, nor do they have the prerequisite medical training and fit testing needed to comply with workplace respirator standards.

It is crucial to note that these respirators are intended to help keep non-harmful clouds of dust and other particles away from nose, mouth and lungs. Additionally, with their filters, they help to eliminate annoying odours. They do not reduce inhalation of all particles, nor will they eliminate the risk of disease, illness or death.

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