If you have been looking for information on the N95 mask, then you have reached the right place as we are going to explain extensively all about this mask.
N95 is a respirator mask that is worn on the face to cover your mouth and nose and it filters the air by capturing tiny pollution particles so that they do not enter your respiratory system and damage the lungs.
The N in the mask name represents that it can filter out Non-oil particles that are larger than 0.3 microns and the 95 in the name suggests that this mask is 95% effective. Hence, this mask is commonly used to protect users from dust while they work in such an environment or when they are in a polluted area such as large cities.
While N95 can filter out dirt and particles as mentioned above, we have to remember that the mask is not sealed but is only held by two elastic straps that go around your head and an adjustable nose clip to create a good seal but it will not be perfect. For a mask to function well, the air actually needs to pass through the filter and not leak from the sides of the mask. Hence this mask is effective and can be used for a few applications but it will not be of much help if you have to enter a hazardous zone and you will have to opt for a tightly fitted mask instead, with the right filter/cartridge, which creates a proper seal.
There are not many variations of this mask and only comes in two variations;
This type of N95 respirator mask for smoke makes wearing it comfortable, and it has a one-way vent valve that allows the air you breathe out to exit so that you don't have to forcefully breathe out and this also avoids condensation which usually causes fogging if you wear glasses. The filter remains the same and nothing changes there but due to increased comfort, you will be able to wear the mask longer.
The vented mask is expensive than non-vented mask
Usually, most people use this variety of N95 mask and the filter piece is the same, it just does not have the vent valve. This mask is quite cheap when compared to the vented mask but it may cause fogging if you wear glasses and you may not feel very comfortable wearing this for a long time.
You have to remember that when you use a vented mask, the air you breathe out does not pass through filter hence if you have some condition that can cause contamination, it will pass on to the next person and in that case, you should stick to the non-vented mask.
Though beards are considered as an enemy when it comes to wearing a respirator mask as it is impossible to achieve a good air seal when you have a beard. In fact, any facial air needs to be removed for the mask to be fully effective but in case of N95 mask, the seal formed is not perfect anyway hence your beard may not make a great difference in the filtration levels but yes if you remove the beard, you will be able to breathe cleaner air.
The N95 mask is disposable, but you will not find any instructions regarding the duration of use. Hence many people do not understand how long can they use the same mask? The duration depends upon the contamination in the atmosphere which is practically not possible to calculate.
It has been observed that N95 masks clog with dirt and wear off slowly hence the mask may look dirty from the outside but the filter may work just fine. But again, the filter may still be good but the dirt accumulated on the edges of the mask will be the main source of leakage reducing the effectiveness of the mask. As the dirt gets trapped in the filter, when you inhale, air passes through the filter at a slower rate which will force more air to enter from the sides. So basically, you should not only care about the life of the filter but the overall mask's effectiveness in supplying clear and filtered air.
When the dirty air comes inside the mask, then the inside of the mask also gets dirty, hence clean it's inside and outside every time before you reuse the mask to breathe cleaner air.
So if you have been wondering what goes inside an N95 respirator mask at the microscopic level. We are going to explain to you how the N95 mask's filter traps dirt particles.
Most filters use the approach of having holes smaller than the size of the particle it needs to filter so that it cannot pass through it. The filter used in the N95 mask, on the other hand, uses a different approach as it only claims to provide 95% clean air which means it need not filter out each and every particle.
If you zoom and see the N95 mask's filter, you will find it is a tangled mass of fibers that are jumbled up and laid on top of each other. As the air passes through this filter, when the particles find their way through this jumbled mass, they may bump into each other and get stuck to form bigger particles that cannot pass through the filter. Hence this mask does not clog easily and works pretty well even when it looks dirty.
You will easily find N95 respirator mask in a hardware store near you but they may not have all the different variety and makes of the mask available with them hence preferably we suggest you buy this mask online on bestmask.net where you can pick from a range of N95 masks available by comparing them so that you can choose amongst the best masks available in the market.