What is N95 Respirator Mask?
An N95 respirator is a protective device for achieving efficient filtration of airborne particles and the edges of the respirator are designed specifically to form a seal around the mouth and nose. Typically, they are used in healthcare settings and a subset of N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFRs). The ‘N95’ means when proper testing is done, the respirator blocks a minimum 95% of minute (0.3micron) test particles. If the mask is fitted properly, the filtration capabilities will exceed normal facemasks. Nevertheless, it is important to note, that even you fit the respirator properly, it will not eliminate the risk of death or illness. These N95 respirators are tested for particulate and bacterial filtration efficiency, fluid resistance, biocompatibility, and flammability. More importantly, you cannot share or reuse these masks.
People suffering from cardiac, chronic respiratory or other medical conditions that make difficulty in breathing must consult their health care provider before wearing N95 respirator masks ( events.mybiogate.com/covid-19/product/us-n95-masks ) as it becomes more difficult for the person to breathe. Some models contain exhalation valves that are easy for breathing and helps in reducing heat build-up. You should note use these respirators having exhalation valves when sterile conditions are required. According to FDA, you should use the masks for single –use and then dispose of them. If the respirator is soiled or damaged or breathing becomes difficult, then remove the respirator, discard it properly, and use a new one. For discarding the respirator safely keep it in a plastic bag, put it in the trash, and then wash your hands properly for at least a minute. It is important to note that these respirators are not designed for people having facial hair or children as it will not fit properly on them and may not provide full protection.
Mostly these respirators are manufactured for use in construction and various industrial type jobs that expose workers to small and dust particles. However, some N95 respirators are used in a health care setting, specifically, disposable and single-use respirators are worn by health care workers during procedures so that there is no transfer of particulate material, body fluids, and transfer of microorganisms.