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August 13, 2020
Health

The Best Guide to Choosing N95 Face Masks

It has been clear that people infected by the coronavirus disease can spread the virus before they begin to show any symptoms. That is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other state health departments have recommended that the majority of people wear face coverings or non-medical masks while out in public to reserve medical masks such as an N95 face mask for healthcare workers regularly exposed to the disease. In some states, face coverings are mandatory in situations where social distancing is not possible. This post offers helpful insights into choosing good N95 face masks.

What are N95 Masks?

N95 masks, also called N95 respirators, are air filters worn on the face to capture tiny particles before they can reach the lungs’ sensitive tissue. N95 is an efficiency rating from the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety which means the mask filters out 95 percent of (N)on-oil particles bigger than 3 microns. N95 masks are commonly worn to protect users from dust while working and from air pollution in a lot of big cities.

Choosing a Good N95 Mask

To filter particles out of the air, the air must pass through the N95 mask. The majority of N95 masks have elastic straps that go around the user’s head and an adjustable nose clip to make the best seal possible.

When choosing a 3m N95 face mask, you will have to pick between vented or non-vented. A vented mask is a necessity for comfort while the non-vented one is just slightly cheaper. The vent lets the user’s breath exit without condensing on the inside of the mask or fogging up the glasses. Those who are using the mask for keeping their sickness to themselves should opt for a non-vented mask. Although this mask is not designed to catch stuff that comes out of the mouth, it will filter any air that goes through it.

How Long to Use the Same N95 Masks

The United States Food and Drug Administration recommends that N95 respirators and disposable masks must not be reused and shared. These masks are designed to block big particles from reaching the mouth. Surgical face masks do not filter or block very small particles in the air or seal well around the face to offer complete protection. An N95 mask is designed to offer a better seal around the face and made specially to filter small particles. But, it is not meant to be used more than once.

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