Respiratory Protection for the Apocalypse

A Face Mask Isn’t Enough

A face mask covers the user’s nose and mouth. It may not meet medical grade filtration efficiency levels. Above all, masks must be worn properly to perform. The CDC found that for a mask to be effective it must completely cover your nose and mouth. Next, the mask should fit snugly against the side of your face without gaps. For mask wearers with glasses, a nose wire limits fogging while ensuring a proper fit.

The CDC recommends the user to dispose of your mask after each use. Disposable masks do not provide protection from small airborne droplets. But, the masks protect others from the user’s respiratory emissions.

Cotton ear loop face masks that you can wash and reuse. A sewn-in filter can step up your protection. Washable cloth masks are the gold standard for everyday wear. They are comfortable, affordable. Unlike N95s, cloth face masks do not need a proper fitting. Form-fitting cloth masks are an economical choice for face protection to prevent contamination. Harmony masks provide 2+ layers of protection while maintaining breathability.

Use N95 Masks for Proper Protection

A disposable half-mask filtering facepiece respirator that covers the user’s airway. The N95 filters 95% of airborne particles. NIOSH-approved face masks must filter at least 95% of particulate matter. The CDC offers guidance on choosing between an N95 and Surgical N95, for example.

If an N95 is out of stock, you may be tempted to buy an R95 or P25. N, R, and P reference the masks resistance to oil. N is the least resistant whereas P is the most. For most settings, oil resistance may not be a deciding factor.

Some masks have an exhalation valve. These are not used in sterile settings.* However, consumers will find them to be more comfortable. Without such a valve, moisture can build up and cause discomfort.

A respirator mask is a must-have personal protective equipment in many professions. To ensure medical professions have the tools they need, N95s are reserved for them. Wearing a N95 respirator serves as a contamination protection against a number of harmful pathogens and airborne particulates, droplets, and aerosols that can cause serious illness. 

KN95 Masks may Substitute for N95

KN95 masks provide medical grade protection for consumers. Four layers of material provide 95% filtration efficiency. Similar to the N95, the masks are filter liquid aerosols without being oil resistant. The CDC does not regulate KN95 masks so caution must be used by the consumers. Not all KN95 masks are created equally.

You can wear the same KN95 respirator for approximately eight hours of use. Dirty environments may degrade mask’s filtration system quicker. To ensure you do not get infected when removing and replacing the mask, never touch the outside of the respirator.

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