A 7502 pictured with 7093B P100 cartridges. The 7502 is the medium size 7500 series model.

The 7500 series is a half face elastomeric respirator produced by the 3M Company. The respirator face piece is composed of soft silicone rubber and 3M advertises it as their "ultimate comfort" half face respirator. The respirator features a downward-facing exhalation valve designed to reduce moisture and fogging.

The 7500 series comes in three sizes, each denoted by a model number: 7501 (small), 7502 (medium) and 7503 (large).

The 3M 7500 series are NIOSH approved respirators and have approval in a variety of configurations (e.g. with P100 filter cartridges, organic vapor cartridges, etc). The 7500 series uses the 3M Bayonet filter system and any 3M Bayonet filters will be compatible with the unit.

Healthcare worker use during the COVID-19 pandemic

The 3M 7500 respirators, like other reusable elastomeric respirators, have been used by healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. 3M maintains a website with information on usage of 3M elastomeric respirators in healthcare

Videos & reviews by healthcare workers:

The COVID-19 pandemic caused increased demand for the 3M 7500 as well as P100 filters (e.g. 7093 cartridges). Some videos demonstrating counterfeit 7093 can be found on YouTube.

If purchasing the respirator or cartridges, be sure to use authorized 3M retailers.

Exhalation valve

The exhalation valve on the 3M 7500 series can be covered with a simple surgical mask, if desired. In this picture, a surgical mask is flipped upside down (nose wire facing downward), the ear loops are tied off to be shorter, and the loops are wrapped around the cartridges.

Like most elastomeric respirators, the 3M 7500 series feature a one-way exhalation valve; the 7500 series' valve faces downward, reducing fogging and droplets. While the US CDC considers exhalation valves on N95s to be acceptable for source control (as of April, 2021; see NIOSH study as well as this presentation on elastomeric respirators - 19:15, 40:00 marks), some may choose to cover the exhalation valve of the respirator. Placing a surgical mask over the exhalation valve, with ear loops wrapped around the cartridges, is one option.

Some 7500 series users have created their own DIY / 3D printed exhalation valve filter attachments. Note that any modification to the respirator like this will void NIOSH certification.

A list of exhalation valve filters (not vetted!), some from 3D printing websites:

See also