If you’re like most people, you’ve been hearing a lot about N95 masks lately. You might be wondering what all the fuss is about, and whether or not you should be wearing one. In this blog post, we will discuss the surprising truth about N95 masks. We’ll also take a look at why it’s important to buy masks that are made in the USA.
What Is an N95 Mask
An N95 mask is a type of respirator that is designed to protect the wearer from breathing in small particles.
It is made up of two parts: the face piece and the straps. The face piece fits over the nose and mouth, and the straps go around the head to keep it in place.
Let’s break down the name “N95” so we can understand what it means.
- N: The letter “N” is the Respirator Rating Letter Class. It represents “non-oil”, which means you can use this type of mask as long as no oil-based particles are in the air.
- 95: According to the CDC, this type of mask removes 95% of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger.
N95 masks are used in a variety of settings, including hospitals, schools, and workplaces. They are also popular among people who suffer from allergies or asthma.
There are two types of N95 masks: disposable and reusable. Disposable masks are recommended for one-time use only, while reusable masks can be washed and reused multiple times.
Benefits of N95 Masks
When worn properly, N95s can filter out at least 95 percent of particles in the air, including the virus that causes covid-19. This is important because the virus can be transmitted through the air, and it’s especially dangerous for people with respiratory problems.
N95 masks can also protect you from other types of particles in the air, such as dust, smoke, and pollen.
These benefits only apply if the mask is made to the demanding standards established by NIOSH and the FDA. Some masks do not meet these quality control requirements and may not function as intended. Look for the NIOSH mark indicating the mask is N95. In addition, look for N95 masks made in USA to avoid counterfeits that come from foreign manufacturers.
How N95 Masks Work
N95 mask are made of polypropylene fibers that are formed into a web to catch particles that pass through the fabric. They are made from polypropylene fibers that are 1/50th the diameter of human hairs. They allow air to flow through while trapping particles as small as 0.3 microns in size.
The fibers in an N95 mask are charged – think static electricity and a balloon stuck to a wall – which attracts particles passing by. Large particles bump into the fibers and easily become trapped. As more particles become caught in the web of fibers, the more effective the filter becomes.
Smaller particles that can slip between strands but are robust enough not to bounce around a lot are the most difficult to trap. Coronaviruses typically fit into this midsize category. Fortunately, the electrostatic charge of the filter effectively pulls particles of all sizes out of the air.
Does Made in the USA Matter with N95 Masks
Now that you know what N95 masks are, let’s talk about where they are made.
The coronavirus pandemic has created a shortage of N95 masks around the world. Some people have been buying counterfeit N95s from overseas manufacturers or other unreliable sources. If you’re planning to buy an N95 mask, make sure it is made in the USA to ensure that you’re getting a quality product.
Masks made in the USA undergo more rigorous testing and are held to higher quality standards than masks made overseas. They also meet the safety requirements of the FDA and NIOSH.
My suggestion is to only buy N95 masks made in USA.
Final Take on N95 Masks
N95 masks are an important line of defense against respiratory viruses. They can protect you from other types of particles in the air, such as dust, smoke, and pollen.
They are made from polypropylene fibers that are charged to attract particles passing by. The fiber web catches the larger particles while the smaller ones slip through but are still pulled out of the air by electrostatic charge.
Make sure your N95 mask is made in the USA to ensure that you’re getting a quality product.