N95 mask is a type of respiratory protective device designed to filter out at least 95 parcentage of airborne particles, including viruses, bacteria, and other harmful particles. It is named "N95" because it meets the stringent filtration standards set by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the United States. N95 masks are widely used in healthcare settings and by the general public during outbreaks of infectious diseases or in environments with high levels of airborne contaminants.
Q: What does the "N95" designation mean?
A: The "N95" designation refers to the mask's ability to filter out at least of airborne particles, including very small particles (0.3 microns in size) that are difficult to capture. This rating is based on the filtration efficiency standards established by NIOSH.
Q: How does an N95 mask work?
A: N95 masks work through a process called mechanical filtration. The mask's electrostatically charged fibers trap particles as they pass through the filter. The combination of mechanical and electrostatic attraction helps prevent harmful particles from entering the wearer's respiratory system.
Q: When should I use an N95 mask?
A: N95 masks are recommended in various situations, including during infectious disease outbreaks (e.g., flu, COVID-19), when working with hazardous materials, in environments with airborne pollutants or fine particles, and in settings where there is a risk of inhaling infectious respiratory droplets.
Q: Are N95 masks reusable?
A: Some N95 masks are designed for single-use, while others may be used repeatedly if properly sanitized and stored. However, extended use and reusing masks should follow guidelines from healthcare authorities to ensure safety and efficacy.