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What does "respirator" mean when buying N95 Respirator Masks?

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N95 respirators and masks

Ever since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), our lives haven’t been the same. The new virus is proven to be more lethal to our respiratory system than other viruses of the same family.

Today, what we know about the virus is that it can be prevented through keeping a safe distance, shielding face with the arm when sneezing or coughing etc. Among all these preventive methods, using an N95 respirator stands out as one of the most effective ways of prevention, which is why there has been such demand to find them available for sale.

The N95 mask possesses some properties that ordinary surgical and medical face masks do not. Hence, the reason why it is termed a “respirator”. N95 respirators are widely used by frontline workers, high-risk populations, and people with susceptible medical conditions according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What is an N95 respirator?

The word “respirator” derives from respiration which means the process of breathing. By protecting our breathing pathways, we have a greater chance of protection.

The N95 respirator is a piece of protective respiratory equipment modeled in the form of a mask which encloses the mouth and nose, possessing very efficient filtration mechanisms for airborne particles.

Why use N95 respirators?

The mask originates its name from a series of classification put forth by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the USA which regards the N95 as able to filter at minimum 95% of all particles airborne.

The N95 respirator is non-oil resistant. This means the respirator can protect and filter non-oil particles such as dust, smoke and viruses like the flu and coronaviruses efficiently at a 95% minimum rate which is way better and higher compared to surgical and medical masks.