Disposable respirator masks are a piece of protective equipment. Used by employees in the workplace. While most people stick to the rules by only a few think that an N95 mask is reusable. There are actually some situations where it is acceptable that you use the them twice or even thrice. Use masks only once per the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). However, for reasons including convenience, supply, and expense, some people will continuously reuse their masks. As a result, NIOSH conducted a study concerning this matter and allowed the reusing of dust masks given that users follow a specific set of rules or guidelines.
NIOSH stated that it doesn’t have to be thrown out or disposed of after the first use. Respirators are part of the protocol of a company. Intended to give the workers the necessary respiratory protection needed.
Dispose of the n95 mask if the manufacturer indicates a specific time frame. Or the workers are free to reuse the mask until it becomes damaged, soiled, or contaminated.
NIOSH further elaborated that the number of persons that can use a single dust mask should be limited to one person. This means that exchanging masks with other workers is discouraged and each worker should be assigned their own. They further stated that when not in use a dust mask should be protected from the exposure of dust, contamination, excessive sunlight, moisture, and other damaging chemicals which could lead to its disintegration. Dust masks don’t have a solid frame and therefore should be stored in a way that would prevent its deformation.
Determining how many uses are possible for a dust mask may not be possible according to the NIOSH. Below are their established guidelines that are helpful in determining when it is safe, and unsafe to continue reusing a dust mask.
- Continuous use is common among many industries where the levels of dust are low. Workers can reuse their dust masks. Until you soil, damage, contaminate it.
- A dusty environment calls for another action. In high dust levels, the maximum number of hours which he/she can use the dust mask shouldn’t go beyond 8 hours. In situations like this don’t reuse dust masks.
- NIOSH has also discouraged the repeated use of one dust mask in a bio-safety setting. There is a possibility that pathogens can cling to the surface of the dust mask which could transfer to the skin of a person. Direct contact with the dust mask could cause infection.
Educate and inform yourself on the proper methods of usage for face masks based on NIOSH guidelines.
Don’t wait for the worst that can happen to you. While it’s still early, get yourself the proper respiratory protection. A dust mask designed for maximum protection, filtering out airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns, will help to keep yourself protected from the dangers of airborne infections. Our N99 masks and N95′s are excellent options for protecting you and your family from airborne contaminants that can affect your health. Visit our website today to purchase your particular respirator.