The news today is filled with stories of respiratory illnesses. The health risks to people are everywhere. Dangerous health situations are created by nature and they are also man made. One thing stands between people and breathing contaminated air and that is a variety of different types of dust masks and respirators. Unfortunately, a huge portion of our population has been left out of this protective solution since most affordable respirators rely on seal created by skin contact. Men with beards or facial hair that interfere with this seal must choose between faulty protection or no protection at all. “Just shave your beard and there isn’t a problem”, you might say. Far too often men choose their beards over respiratory protection. This hair may act as a natural filter but it is far less effective against small particulate and useless against fumes. The beard is a powerful psychological symbol for men that represents much more than most people may recognize. Choosing to cover one’s face with a mask is a transformative act and it is more complicated than simply choosing to protect oneself from largely invisible hazards. Having PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) that is comfortable, attractive, compact, and easily accessible are all very important considerations when people choose to protect themselves. The B Respirator relies on a mouth piece and a nose plug without using a skin contact seal. This device is compact enough to be compatible with all other types of safety equipment including safety glasses, ear muffs, face shields, and hard hats.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Breathing apparatus--Design; Beards--Health aspects; Beards--Social aspects

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Industrial Design (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Design (CAD)


Lorraine Justice

Advisor/Committee Member

Stan Rickel


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes