Wearing A Niosh N95 Medical Face Mask Can Protect You From Covid-19

A properly fitted N95 mask, as approved by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), provides the best protection against COVID-19. N95 masks provide the best protection from COVID-19 because they are designed to filter out at least 95% of all airborne particles larger than 0.3 microns as long as the mask forms a tight seal around the face. According to CDC, the most effective mask to protect you from COVID-19 is a respirator that is approved by the National Institutes of Health, like the N95.

Sometimes called an N95 respirator, protective N95 masks are not to be confused with KN95 masks, which share a similar name, but are held to completely different standards. Facemasks may or may not comply with some fluid barrier or filtering effectiveness standard; thus, they are no substitute for N95 respirators or other filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs), which offer respiration protection to the wearer, nor for surgical masks, which offer liquid barrier protection to the wearer. As a result, medical masks do not offer the same levels of particle filtration. N95 and KN95 masks are generally slightly tighter fit than a surgical mask, and the materials filter more particles, too, so air passing through the materials rather than around the mask is filtered better.

N95 Respirator, or Medical-Grade Medical Masks N95 respirators and other professional-grade medical masks are designed with precision fit and shape, forming a tight seal between air from the outside and your face. When worn correctly (with an N95 mask that forms a tight seal around the users face), it protects against dangerous particles in the air. One of the primary benefits of the N95 mask is that it is capable of making a tight seal around the face; FDA says that the faces of children, or faces with a beard, would prevent the mask from offering as much protection. The CDC suggests a surgical mask underneath the cloth mask may provide additional protection if using the N95 is not feasible.

For protection against inhalation, air-filtered respirators, such as N95 masks, can sift contaminants, bacteria, and other material away from your nose and mouth, and are more effective at blocking viral entry than surgical masks. N95 respirators and surgical masks are examples of PPE used to protect a wearer against particles or fluids contaminating their face. Surgical masks and respirators such as N95s are designed to only work one time, as they function by encapsulating harmful particles within the woven mesh they are made of (National Academies of Science, 2006).

Facemasks (sometimes called surgical or procedure masks) are loosely fitted, and thus they do not prevent leaking from the mouth when you breathe; they only offer a protective barrier from larger respiratory droplets and particles, and most do not efficiently filter smaller particles out of inhaled air. Because some materials — like polypropylene fibers — work as both mechanical and electrostatic barriers, the KN95 or N95 mask best protects against microscopic particles entering your nose or mouth, and it needs to fit snugly over your face in order to work. N95 and KN95 masks are best against all COVID-19 virus variants when worn and fitted properly.

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6 thoughts on “Wearing A Niosh N95 Medical Face Mask Can Protect You From Covid-19

  1. Elizabeth B. says:

    Respirators Fit- and also seal-tested respirators are made of twisted fibers that are extremely reliable at filtering system virus in the air. Keeping this in mind, it’s useful to recognize that: Certified N95 respirators can filter 95 percent of particles that are 100 to 300 nm in dimension. Some of these respirators have valves that allow exhaled air to get out, making it much easier for the customer to breathe.

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