Masks help protect the sterile field. They are designed to protect the patient from the exhaled microorganisms from the healthcare provider. Masks are FDA cleared.
Respirators meet the CDC Guidelines for Mycobacterium tuberculosis exposure control. They are certified by NIOSH as N95's and designed to provide a secure face-to-respirator seal. This seal helps reduce the wearer's exposure to airborne particles, making them appropriate for protection from laser and electrocautery plume.