Medical Equipment

Carbon-Lined Masks
Soapmaker's Masks

Who Are We?

Medical Equipment

Cyndi out and about in her North Safety Respirator Mask

Cyndi out and about in her North Safety Respirator Mask

North Safety Half Face Respirator Mask and Filters
Respirator Mask
S, M, L
Filters (pair)
Respirator plus filters
S, M, L

Front view of mask

Since these pictures were taken, North Safety has streamlined their filters slightly but, yes, this is still a big honking ugly mask. Adults stare and children point. But it's a lot less embarrassing than falling to the ground in a reaction with paramedics swarming around you. Trust me on this one.

From the catalog: "Hypoallergenic silicone facepiece offers the worker superior fit and comfort even after repeated cleanings. Cradle suspension system reduces respirator slippage and provides easy adjustment of headstraps. Low profile design increases field of vision and allows for use of eye protection. Exhalation valve offers exceptionally low breathing resistance, low dead air space limits the re-breathing of exhaled air thereby increasing worker efficiency and comfort. NIOSH approved."

From the catalog: "Organic vapor, chlorine, hydrogen chloride, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen fluoride, chlorine dioxide, and any particulates (contains P100 filter). Cartridge/filter combination."


The mask works. It is made for industrial applications and, if you have the right size and you wear it correctly, it will filter out perfume, air freshener, cigarette smoke, formaldehyde, and other volatile chemicals.

Painter's style masks and charcoal-lined scarfs do not stop chemicals from reaching your respiratory system. They only reduce the exposure. North Safety masks are widely considered to be the very best you can buy. Nothing gets through. I have been in freshly painted rooms, airplane bathrooms, and through the perfume sections of a department store and not smelled a thing.

This mask has its limitations. It will not protect you from chemical exposures through your eyes and skin so don't expect it to allow you to spend extended periods in highly toxic environments you normally can not tolerate. Nor will it protect you from later exposures to chemicals that linger on your hair, skin, or clothing.

Most importantly, this mask will not protect you if you are not wearing it! This sounds obvious but I've seen a lot of people carry the mask in their laps or hands and using it for a couple breaths only after smelling something they react to. Or they put it on with the top strap only. Unless you are holding it in place with your hand, the mask seal will not be secure unless you use your rear strap. Also, using the rear strap makes wearing the mask a lot more comfortable.

If you are moving around, the mask gets pretty uncomfortable after a couple of hours. It can also get hard to breathe after that long, especially if you are asthmatic or otherwise have trouble in low oxygen environments.

I recently used this mask on a cross-country trip. I wore it for two 7 hour flights (each with a change of planes) with oxygen supplied to me via nasal canula. It worked great! The bridge of my nose wasn't sore as sometimes happens and I had no difficulty breathing. Under the right conditions, longer use of this mask can be very helpful.

The masks are sized for large men; most women (even those very overweight) wear a small. Women with large bone structures in their faces will take a medium. Average to small men should take a small as well. Available sizes are small, medium, and large. There is no extra-small. There is only one filter size.

The biggest drawback to the North Safety masks is that the silicon stinks when you first get it. It will fade over time. When the mask is a year or more old you shouldn't be able to smell it at all.

Tikvah washes all its masks for your comfort. We use a baking soda and water paste to scrub the mask and then soak it in the same paste for 24 hours. Then the masks are washed with plain water and completely covered in damp baking soda for at least 2 weeks. This reduces the smell to where most people can tolerate it. Our baking soda is ordinary Arm & Hammer and our water is filtered.

If you react to the mask or find you ordered the wrong size, we will take it back. We will refund your money (including tax but not including postage) minus a 10% restocking fee. The mask must be in near perfect condition. Please test your mask without the filters first! We will refund your money for the filters without a fee but only if you don't open the plastic. We are unable to accept filters that have been opened.

Be sure to ask about mask returns when you order; we sell them at 10% off our regular price.

The masks last for a long time. I've had mine for 3 years and it shows no sign of wear. The filters last for about 6 months, depending on how you use it. I keep my mask unwrapped in an open flap of my purse at all times and I use it several times a week. I change the filters every 6 months. When you can start smelling chemicals in the air or when the filters have a smell of their own, it's time to change them. I've found that heavy pesticide exposures can "fill up" a filter.

The filters screw in and out and take about 20 seconds to change. They are made of hard unbendable plastic that doesn't seem to outgas at all. The mask is silicone. The straps are hard flexible plastic and elastic. We wash them once in baking soda. They pop on and off with ease so you can use different straps if you react to elastic.

Coming soon: Tikvah's own mask packs. Bags, hip-packs, and purses sized for North Safety masks (should fit most other brands as well) to keep your mask clean and always at your side. Made from organic cotton fabric.

We are taking orders for Biokleen & liquid soap base in 5-gallon pails.

Bar soap coming soon!

Tikvah - 735 Gossage Avenue, Petaluma, CA 94952. 707-775-4475 (10am-8pm PDT only) -