I’m not a scientist, but you drip coffee and hot water into a pot meant for human consumption, I think they are food-safe. I don’t know if that means they are breath-safe. The only thing is they make brown ones that are unbleached. There was a think about all coffee filters a while ago that they were bleached, and so there are versions of brown paper coffee filters that are supposed to be unbleached. I don’t know. The only coffee filter I have is a reusable brass screen one. The difference between coffee filters and other thin paper may only be “food-safe”, which isn’t a chemical, it’s a protocol for handling, most likely. I was thinking of using tissue paper, not recommending it, I really don’t know. I think food-safe is better for breathing through than, say, newsprint.
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The only thing wrong with using vacuum cleaner bags, to make masks is that they are extremely hard to breath through. A Hepa filter and a bag are two completely different things. The top three tests home available items, to make masks from are vacuum bags, dish towels and cotton blend t-shirt material. In that order. If you are making them for a hospital, use what they want and not what you use at home. I’ve been making two layer 100% quilter material and Egyptian cotton sheets, to make N95 mask covers. If you don’t have fabric handy, use an old sheet; just boil it for 10 minutes, before you do anything with it. As for coffee filters, they are not recommended for healthcare facilities. They don’t work as well.