A dust mask is a flexible paper pad held over the nose and mouth by elastic or rubber straps for personal comfort against non-toxic nuisance dusts. They are not intended to provide protection from toxic airborne hazards.In the United States, they are not subject to the approvals that respirators (such as N95 respirators) and surgical masks require. The European FFP1 mask, the lowest-grade mechanical filter respirator available in the jurisdiction, is also used as a dust mask.
Dust masks are used in environments with dusts encountered during construction or cleaning activities, such as dusts from drywall, brick, wood, fiberglass, silica (from ceramic or glass production), or sweeping. A dust mask can also be worn in environments with allergens such as tree and grass pollen. A dust mask is also used to prevent the wearer from inhaling dust or sand in a dust storm or black blizzard.