Overview of NIOSH Certified N95 Masks
1.Why N95 masks?
While single layer nuisance
dust masks can help keep you safe during light construction or cleaning
activities, they offer little protection against very small particles
travelling through the air, like germs from a cough or sneeze, or fine
non-poisonous dusts. For protection against small particles, a mask with
filtration material, a particulate respirator, is often required. The most
popular of particulate respirators approved by the National Institute for
Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is the N95 mask, labeled N95 for their
95percents efficiency rating. The N95 masks can filter particles of 0.3
Because of their low price,
effectiveness, and comfort, N95 masks are standard in many industries, and have
even become a popular way to prevent the spread of germs among the general
public. If you sell to, or are in, the industrial, medical, dental, automotive,
tattoo or do-it-yourself markets, many of your customers may require N95 masks.
N95 masks must be properly fit tested and are “single use” respirators.
The N95 mask has also
become popular in the medical field. NIOSH and the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) recommended N95 masks for protection of healthcare workers
who come in direct contact with patients with H1N1 and other airborne viruses.
There are also N95 masks that are certified by the FDA for use in surgery.
2.N95 Masks Gallery
3.N95 masks: What to look for
Filter material. All N95 masks will have at least a minimum
filtration efficiency of 95percents, but that doesn’t mean that all filters are
the same. It is important to select an N95 filter with low breathing
Exhalation valve. Although not required for effective use of an
N95, some users prefer a one way exhalation valve that gives lower exhalation
resistance for hot and humid working conditions. For almost any N95 mask, you
can find a similar model with an exhalation valve as well.
headstraps. The nosepeice and headstraps to an N95 mask play an important role in
not only comfort of the mask, but also effectiveness. An N95 mask needs to fit
tightly against the wearer’s face for full effectiveness.
Mask shape. N95 masks are made in a number of shapes. The most
common is the N95 cone mask, but flat fold masks (pictured above) are also very
popular. We produce a new cone style mask with a “flanged edge” for a different
seal to the users face. Mask shape is most often a matter of user preference.
N95 masks are most popular for use in the US, but
if your customers are in Europe, you may also choose to carry CE marked masks
as well. See our introductory articles on CE Masks and disposable respirators