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What is a N95 Mask & Why is it Better?

Updated: Aug 15, 2020

Respirators and surgical masks were once worn almost exclusively by workers whose jobs required them. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in the visibility of many kinds of protective face coverings in public places. In this article, we will discuss the difference between N95 masks and the many other types of masks on the market and why an N95 mask is your best option.

The main and most important difference between an N95 mask and other types of face masks is that N95 masks are tested and certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to ensure they filter at least 95% of airborne particles. For this reason, dust masks and surgical masks cannot offer the same sufficient level of protection from particles as N95 masks. 

Surgical masks are primarily designed to prevent biological particles from being expelled by the wearer into the environment and don’t provide sufficient protection when it comes to actually protect the wearer from inhaling airborne particles. Dirt particles are captured by an N95 mask filter. Many filters work by having holes that are smaller than what they need to filter out. The N95 mask is used to filter out extremely tiny particles but not necessarily filter out every single speck. 

While other types of protective face masks do help in the slowing of the speed of COVID-19 they do not protect the wearer from contracting this virus. During pandemics and outbreaks wearing N95 masks is the only proven mask to help reduce the inhalation of unwanted air particles such as the COVID-19 virus.

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