The N95 mask is regarded as the gold standard for face masks in many settings today. They are used by workers, medical professionals, and the public. Often to prevent infection and transmission of viruses like COVID-19. The N95 mask is a type of filtering facepiece respirator (FFR). They are carefully manufactured to filter out at least 95% of particles, down to .3 microns in size.
An N95 mask is designed to fit well on the face, creating a seal around the mouth and nose. When worn properly, these masks prevent any air from entering or exiting around the sides of the mask. Fibers inside the mask trap particles and droplets in the air to remove contaminants. Which is one of the reasons that they are so effective at protecting wearers from the coronavirus and other harmful particles in the air.
Most N95 mask manufacturers use a thermoplastic polymer, called polypropylene to make their masks. This synthetic plastic fiber is used in many products today, from clothes to food containers. When combined with a tight-fitting mask, it effectively filters particles in the air. Polypropylene used in making the N95 mask is created by making a web of thousands of these synthetic fibers. These extremely fine fibers are then melted together using a special heat process for even greater filtration. Once fused together, this material can filter out 95% of airborne pathogens and contaminants.
N95 mask effectiveness can be increased by 10x when an electrostatic charge is applied to these fibers. As particles reach the mask, they are drawn out of the air by polarization. Other materials used in making the N95 mask often include rubber, aluminum, polyurethane, or polyisoprene for mask straps.
The ‘N95’ mask designation does not explicitly indicate individual materials used but their effectiveness. They must filter out at least 95% of non-oil-based particles in the air down to .3 microns in size.
Theoretically, this means that an N95 mask could be made from any approved materials acceptable to WHO or national health agencies. However, polypropylene continues to be one of the most common materials used in the filter of N95 masks. Polypropylene is generally considered safe for humans to use. This is why it is so widely used. You will likely find it in your furniture, food containers in your fridge, plastic water bottles, clothes, your car, containers for medicine and household cleaning products, and more.
This material is prized for its strength and flexibility. It’s one weakness may be extreme heat, which can degrade it. With this in mind, your N95 mask should not be burned in the fire, microwaved, or heated on the stove. This includes whether you are disposing of a mask or are trying to decontaminate it. Melting and inhaling any plastic is not suitable for your health. Neither do you want to inhale plastic fibers, such as those used in fiberglass insulation in homes? In addition, polypropylene fibers may irritate if ingested. Some research suggests they may also impact hormones. Fortunately, these are not significant concerns associated with the N95 mask. Both thanks to the design and not being exposed to extreme heat while being worn.
However, this is another reason why it is so important to buy officially approved and certified N95 masks that health organizations have given the okay. N95 mask products that meet FDA, CDC, and NIOSH standards in the United States are carefully evaluated for their materials and design and tested to specific criteria.
The surge in demand for the N95 mask in the wake of COVID-19 has also increased fake and counterfeit masks. This makes it increasingly necessary to check your masks for identifying information, approval codes, and stamps from regulating agencies, such as NIOSH.
Purchasing your N95 mask directly from an approved manufacturer and supplier will help avoid the dangers of counterfeits. The CDC’s website lists all of their approved manufacturers and the specific mask products they have agreed on.
Bielcor is one of these approved suppliers, with many N95 masks and respirator products approved for the workplace and COVID-19 use.
Provides a seal around the nose and mouth, essential to protect you as a user and everyone around you. Face coverings allow contaminated air to be breathed in and out around the edges. Lack of that seal can forcefully pull in dangerous contaminants.
The difference between the N95 mask and other types is its filtration ability. Proven to remove 95% of particles as small as .3 microns including particles in fumes and fine mists.
The valve built into the respirator balances breathability and comfort and maximizes respiratory protection.
The material is what separates the mask from other types. This patented electrostatic fiber polarizes viruses, bacteria, and dust before it can pass through the mask. An anti-virus technology that was originally invented to combat the transmission of drug-resistant diseases.
Approved manufacturers and suppliers make and sell official N95 masks. Approvals are regulated by a federal agency, the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH). Listed on the Center For Disease Control (CDC) website.
The demand for selling fake and counterfeit masks has become a huge business for criminals. This is a seriously dangerous issue that has put workers, individuals, and their loved ones at serious risk of deadly respiratory threats.
● The official NIOSH logo on the respirator
● TC (approval number) on the facepiece or headband
● NO decorative design
● Headbands, NOT earloops
The N95 mask has a wide variety of uses. Below are some of the most common.
● Hazardous working environments
● Cities with poor air quality and high pollution levels
● To block allergens
● Environments with potentially toxic mold
● Wildfire areas
● To prevent the transmission of viruses like COVID-19
Is There Anything Better?
Protection among COVID-19 mandates and for everyday use. . Provides the best combination of filtration protection and breathability. Working all day, traveling, or just going about your daily life, you need to be able to breathe clean air comfortably too.
The N99 mask filters out 99% of airborne particles down to 0.3 microns in size. This may be a prime choice for those with underlying health conditions or weakened immune systems and hazardous environments.
Check out this comparison of the N99 versus N95 mask here.
Safely Handle & Wear?
Each authentic N95 mask provides donning instructions to make sure you know how to wear it and fittest it to ensure your protection.
An important aspect of mask-wearing is not to touch your mask without sanitizing your hands. It should go without saying that no mask is going to protect you if you leave your nose uncovered, wear it on your chin, or ear, or set it down on dirty surfaces.
Moreover, the mask is designed as a disposable single-use respirator, and should be thrown away after each use, and replaced with a fresh one.
Employers provide new masks for each employee.
Some healthcare facilities have been testing sanitization protocols for extending the life of the N95 mask for a second use. In a professional setting, experts have found promise in UV light and other sanitizing methods. Yet, even with the best practices, each cleaning can rapidly deteriorate the effectiveness of the mask. It is better to find an affordable source to keep a supply of new masks on hand.
To be confident in buying an officially approved n95 mask is to shop directly online with certified suppliers like Bielcor.com. Be sure to order enough to keep a sufficient supply of new masks on hand.