N95 Facial mask

N95 Respirator

N95 respirator is a respiratory protective device. It is designed to achieve an efficient filtration of airborne particles and for a very close facial fit. Edges of the respirator are designed to form close seal around mouth and nose. These are commonly used in healthcare facilities. These are subset of N95 Filtering Face piece Respirators (FFRs), or N95s.

N95 respirator are FDA regulated and tested for filtration efficiency, fluid resistance, flammability and biocompatibility.  Particulate filtration and microbial filtration efficiency are a must for N95 respirator.

These respirators cannot be and should not be shared or reused. However, due to tremendous demand CDC suggests one can reuse N95 up to five times and throw. Washing N95 respirator is not recommended. If someone wants to sterilize respirators then Hydrogen peroxide vaporization and steam dry heat are two options.

People who have chronic breathing problems or heart conditions must talk to doctor before using N95 respirator as it can make them difficult breath.  Some N95 respirators come with exhalation valves to support easy breathing and help to reduce heat. However, these exhalation valves respirator should not be used if sterile conditions are necessary.

sImage credit: Photo by CDC from Pexels (Free for commercial use)

Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: July 31, 2020

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