N95 face mask

How effective are N95 particulates respirators and can we reuse them?

How effective are N95 respirators

The first case of COVID-19 appeared in December, 2019 which became a global health threat in no time. To date, the majority of the world’s population had fallen sick to the Coronavirus infection, observing major respiratory distress, and a significant number has died as well. The situation went out of control because this virus type was new to the world and no vaccine or certified treatment was available. Doctors, researchers, and scientists declared that the only way to control the situation is to prevent the virus in the first place. For this purpose, they urged people to practice social distancing and ensure personal protection by wearing masks, gloves, and sanitizing hands as much as possible. At present, we have different vaccines available against the novel Coronavirus but they don’t ensure 100% safety against it. Thus, despite being vaccinated, people are strictly asked to ensure their personal protection. They must not go out in public unnecessarily, wear masks, and sanitize their hands.

When it comes to wearing masks, you have plenty of options. There are surgical masks, medical-grade masks, cloth masks, etc. But the most trusted type is the medical masks and that too N95 face masks made in USA. From healthcare providers to the general public, from hospitals to other organizations, people count on these N95 masks trustfully. This is because N95s offer maximum protection by filtering out even the smallest of the germs and infectious particles present in the air. Since N95 masks are very popular and recommended by doctors and peers, people are always very inquisitive about them. They want to know how they are so effective and how to use them for maximum protection. Well, if you too are looking for the same answers, you’ve landed the right page. This article is all about the efficacy of N95 masks and their effective use. So, keep reading!

How effective are N95 respirators?    

The percentage efficacy of N95 respirators is indicated by their name. Yes, the number 95 in N95 signifies that N95 masks have been designed to provide 95% of protection against airborne germs and infections. They filter the air you inhale and remove 95% of germs and harmful particles present in it. In this way, clean air reaches your lungs keeping you away from air-borne diseases. Moreover, the letter N in the name N95 stands for non-oil which means that the mask works against non-oil particles only. Furthermore, the pore size of the filter used in N95 masks is 0.3 microns which makes it able to removes dust, fumes, and mists easily.

Most importantly, N95 respirators have an exhalation valve that works like a ventilator. It doesn’t let the carbon dioxide, exhaled by the wearer, gather inside the mask. Also, it prevents moisture build-up, reducing the exhalation resistance and making breathing, through the mask, easy for the people. If your elders complain about feeling suffocated while wearing a mask, get them an N95 mask today. Its exhalation valves will ensure proper ventilation inside the mask so that they can breathe comfortably.   

N95 masks are designed so that they fit around your nose and mouth perfectly. A metal strip is provided over the nose section which bridges across the nose to provide a firm seal. Thus, no air will leak through it and fog your glasses. Also, the mask fitters prevent germs from flowing through the edges thus ensuring complete safety. What makes N95 face masks made in USA even more trustworthy is their approval from NIOSH. It is a US-based federal agency that regulates and evaluates respiratory devices available in the market. NIOSH approval for N95 masks indicates that they are good for use during the pandemic.

Can you reuse your N95 masks?

Apart from using N95 respirators for maximum protection, another major public concern is can N95 masks be reused? Well, the idea behind reusing the masks is very simple and depends upon the viral load around you. For instance, if you are a doctor or paramedical staff member in a Corona ward, the environment around you is super polluted and your chances of catching the Coronavirus will be maximum, in such cases, you can use one N95 mask for a maximum of 7-8 hours. However, if you are functioning in a less risky environment, you can use your N95 masks for days. You can also extend its use if you clean it properly as per the CDC guidelines for extended use of face masks. Some of the actively investigated mask decontamination strategies by CDC are hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) vaporization, UV treatment, moist heat treatment, and dry heat treatment. All of these treatments work by inactivating the viral load on the mask with no compromise on its filtration capacity, electrostatic charges, and firm fit. Note, extended use is only recommended if your mask isn’t damaged or soiled anyway.    

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