What is an N95 mask?
N95 is one of the mask grades certified by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).1 These masks are used to prevent particles such as dust or mist from entering the body through the respiratory tract. The full list of NIOSH mask grades including N95 is as follows.
- N95, N99, N100, R95, R99, R100, P95, P99, P100
- N / R / P: Oil resistance
- N: Not resistant to oil
- R: Somewhat resistant to oil
- P: Strongly resistant to oil
- Filtering rate
- 95: Filters at least 95% of airborne particles
- 99: Filters at least 99% of airborne particles
- 100: Filters at least 99.97% of airborne particles
Can the N95 mask protect coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Although the particle size of coronaviruses is very small (0.1-0.2 µm), they can be protected by N95 masks if present in the form of droplets or aerosols. That’s why you should wear an N95 mask when you need to face with someone who may be infected with coronavirus. In addition, COVID-19 has been reported not only for droplet infection but also for air infection. As a result, wearing an N95 mask is very important to protect against COVID-19.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can the N95 mask be reused?
N95 masks should never be washed and reused. The N95 mask filters out particles in the air using the principle of static charge on the object. Washing with water damages the filter, making the N95 mask a regular fashion mask.
Can the N95 mask protect organic solvents?
The N95 mask effectively blocks particulate contaminants, but does not protect against organic solvent-based contaminants such as paint, bond, thinner, varnish and hexane. When working with organic solvents, use a mask with an activated carbon layer, or use a gas mask with a cleaning container corresponding to the organic solvent.
Wearing an N95 mask is too choking. Is there a solution?
The N95 mask gives up some breathing comfort for its filtering performance. As a result, the wearer may often have difficulty breathing. This is because the dust collecting filter fiber structure is dense and the number of layers of the filter is large. To solve this problem, there is a model equipped with an exhalation valve. When you inhale, the exhalation valve is closed and air enters only through the filter, but when you exhale, the exhalation valve opens and exhales through the valve.