With the outbreak of COVID-19, filtration masks have become a common talk. The facepiece respirators, which are popularly known as n95 masks are being discussed and used extensively as a protection against the virus, or to be precise, the infected droplets. But what are these n95 masks and what are their distinctive features?
Before we get down to that, let’s understand what the term n95 stands for.
The ‘N’ in n95 stands for its Respirator Rating Letter Class. In the particulate respirators n95 denotes the level of protection that it provides you with. It can be used extensively in a Non-oil work environment for long hours. However, the masks with ‘R’ rating can be used in an oily environment up to 8 hours, while the ones marked with ‘P’ denote 100% oil resistance.
The 95 in n95 masks reveals that they offer 95% protection against particulate matter. Likewise, the n96 and n99 mask offer 96% and 99% protection respectively.
Now coming to the .3 microns, this is a measurement of the particulate matter that the masks protect you against. The minimum size of the particles and large droplets that the masks can filter out is .3 microns, as evaluated by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC.
The material of the n95 mask filters
A face mask n95 generally contains three filtration layers, composed of electrostatic polypropylene fiber. The PP fiber is highly resistant to acids and alkalis along with insects, pests, and any kind of abrasion. It also has a low moisture absorption capability, which facilitates faster transport of moisture through the surface, rendering them suitable for use in the n95 masks.
The respiration valves
A lot of n95 masks come with built-in respiration valves, which aids in breathing. According to the CDC, these valves decrease the resistance to exhale, thus making it easier for the wearer to breathe. However, you can always opt for n95 masks without the respiration valves, if you don’t suffer from inherent breathing issues or respiratory problems.
The straps or earloops
These masks come with head straps or earloops that help fix it tightly on your face, leaving no gap for the infected droplets or other particulate matters to enter. If you use the mask for days, you may notice the straps or loops getting loose, and then you should replace your mask with a new one. Otherwise, all your efforts to protect you from the virus will be in vain.
If you need more information about the n95 respirators, you can get in touch with some experts to resolve your queries.