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When Should I Change my N95 Face Mask?

 

Woman holding face mask

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
Neither masks nor respirators are intended to be used more than once. If they become damaged, the wearer is being exposed to pathogens and viruses. Ideally, they should be collected and disposed of correctly with thorough hand-washing afterward.

Things to Know About N95 face mask The N95 respirator is an example of personal protective equipment that is used for protection against airborne particles and from liquid contaminating the face. It was also regulated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

An N95 respirator is a respiratory protective device greatly designed for the utmost protection which has a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles. The edges of the respirator are designed to form a seal around the nose and mouth. Surgical N95 Respirators are commonly used in healthcare settings and are a subset of N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFRs), often referred to as N95s.

The similarities between surgical masks and surgical N95s are:

  •  They are tested for fluid resistance, filtration efficiency (particulate filtration efficiency and bacterial filtration efficiency), flammability, and biocompatibility.

  • They should not be shared or reused.

 

Good news: You can actually protect yourself from viruses by wearing an N95 respirator mask: Get your N95 respirator masks for the whole family today.

 

When should an N95 respirator face mask filter be changed?

It might probably be good if you are well aware of how to use n95 masks and how you can identify the signs that the mask should be readily disposed of. So, here are the quick reminders on when you should change your N95 respirator face mask:

  • Check before putting on each time and replace if facepiece or head straps show any signs of damage or deterioration.
  • Replace if the facepiece is visibly dirty, splashed on, or becomes difficult to breathe through.        
  • Replace in accordance with your agency's infection control protocols.

 

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How long does the N95 respirator mask last? Manufacturer guidance typically suggests that N95 respirators can be worn for 3-4 hours at a time.

 

The problem with wearing N95 respirators for extended periods: N95 respirators filter the air that the wearer breathes, removing airborne particulates, such as virus particles, and protecting the user. The need to breathe through the materials puts a strain on the user, and so while extended use may be possible, it is not easy or recommended.

 

When worn properly, these respirator masks get very hot inside and are very difficult to breathe in due to the pressure change between the air inside and the outside atmosphere. It is like breathing through a blanket and can become distressing to the user.

A user’s blood-oxygen saturation can drop and carbon dioxide increases significantly with correct and prolonged use. Even a healthy and fit adult could find wearing an N95, if put on correctly, difficult after an hour or so of use.

An older person or an immunocompromised individual likely would have a very hard time using an N95 mask even for a short time. Wearers may take it off for a break which would reduce its protection. Children and infants are also generally not appropriate candidates for wearing N95s as the risk of suffocation are higher.

 
 

Good news: You can actually protect yourself from viruses by wearing an N95 respirator mask: Get your N95 respirator masks for the whole family today.

Disclaimer: Please note that we can only pass on general information and cannot make any guarantees or be liable for any consequences of your decision making or behavior. Use good common sense and ask your healthcare provider or physician for advice.

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1 comment

  • I like this blog. The information about N95 is really helpful. I’m looking forward more contents like this. More Power to your team!!

    Rico Dinero

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