The 3M 2097 P100 (HEPA) Particulate Filter with Nuisance Level Organic Vapor Relief and Ozone Protection. Use this filter for protection against toxic dusts such as lead and asbestos, and for mold cleanup and remediation.
The extremely fine filtration traps all but the most minuscule particles. So our customers use them to protect against asbestos and lead dusts in particular, as well as a host of other dusts, allergens and fumes. The filters are extremely light weight, flexible and they fit tight against the mask, all of which makes wearing this type of mask a bit more comfortable.
The 2097 fits on the 3M 6000 and 3M 7500 series half masks, as well as the 3M 6000 full face respirators. HEPA filtration is rated to remove 99.9% of particles .3 microns and larger. This includes most welding fumes (burnt metal)*, toxic dusts like asbestos and lead, and helps folks with allergies to many environmental dusts. Sometimes called a pancake filter, they are attached directly to the mask. A simple 1/4 turn locks them on. No retainers or other attachment methods are needed.
If your hazard is mold, or if you are arc welding, then we would suggest the 3M 2097 is the filter to use. Active mold growth produces VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) that won't be absorbed by just a P100 filter. And arc welding* produces ozone, which once again, won't be absorbed by a P100.
We get requests for a filter to be used against wood smoke or diesel exhaust. The 3M 2097 is what we recommend, but with a couple of conditions to be aware of. First, no filter or cartridge we offer will protect against carbon monoxide poisoning. Proper ventilation is essential to prevent injury or death. Second, the filter will only remove the particulates and some nuisance organic vapors. There may be other combustion by-products present that are hazardous to your health about which neither of us are aware. For instance a wildfire may burn a whole lot more than vegetation, exposing you to a wide variety of respiratory hazards.