What is Respirator?

A respirator is a personal protective device that is worn on the face or head and covers at least the nose and mouth. A respirator is used to reduce the wearer’s risk of inhaling hazardous airborne particles (including infectious agents), gases or vapours.

What is an N95 filtering face piece respirator (FFR) ?

An N95 FFR is a type of respirator which removes particles from the air that are breathed through it. These respirators filter out at least 95% of very small (0.3 micron) particles. N95 FFRs are capable of filtering out all types of particles, including bacteria and viruses.

What makes N95 respirator different from facemasks (sometimes called as surgical mask)?

  • N95 respirators reduce the wearer’s exposure to airborne particles, from small particle aerosols to large droplets. N95 respirators are tight-fitting respirators that filter out at least 95% of particles in the air, including large and small particles.
  • Not everyone is able to wear a respirator due to medical conditions that may be made worse when breathing through a respirator. Before using a respirator or getting fit-tested, workers must have a medical evaluation to make sure that they are able to wear a respirator safely.
  • Achieving an adequate seal to the face is essential. User must pass a fit test to confirm a proper seal before using a respirator in the workplace.
  • When properly fitted and worn, minimal leakage occurs around edges of the respirator when the user inhales. This means almost all of the air is directed through the filter media.
  • Unlike NIOSH-approved N95s, facemasks are loose-fitting and provide only barrier protection against droplets, including large respiratory particles. No fit testing or seal check is necessary with facemasks. Most facemasks do not effectively filter small particles from the air and do not prevent leakage around the edge of the mask when the user inhales.
  • The role of facemasks is for patient source control, to prevent contamination of the surrounding area when a person coughs or sneezes.  Patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should wear a facemask until they are isolated in a hospital or at home. The patient does not need to wear a facemask while isolated.

Refer link for infographic Understanding The Difference

Should I wear respirator in public?

Most often, spread of respiratory viruses from person-to-person happens among close contacts (within 6 feet). Recent studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19. CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, such as avoiding people who are sick, avoiding touching your eyes or nose, and covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue. People who are sick should stay home and not go into crowded public places or visit people in hospitals. Workers who are sick should follow CDC guidelines and stay home when they are sick.

My N95 respirator has an exhalation valve. Is that okay?

An N95 respirator with an exhalation valve does provide the same level of protection to the wearer as one that does not have a valve. The presence of an exhalation valve reduces exhalation resistance, which makes it easier to breathe or exhale. Some users feel that a respirator with an exhalation valve keeps the face cooler and reduces moisture build up inside the facepiece. However, respirators with exhalation valves should not be used in situations where a sterile field must be maintained (e.g., during an invasive procedure in an operating or procedure room) because the exhalation valve may allow unfiltered exhaled air to escape into the sterile field. If you only have a respirator with an exhalation valve available, cover the exhalation valve with a facemask (surgical or procedure mask) that does not interfere with the respirator fit.

What are different respirator approvals for different countries? (N95, FFP2, KN95 etc.)

Respirator approvals of different countries as follows :

  • Australia/New Zealand - P2
  • Brazil - FFP2
  • China - KN95, KP95
  • Europe - FFP2
  • Japan - DS2, DL2
  • India - BIS P2
  • Korea - 1st class
  • US NIOSH - N95, R95, P95

N95 Masks are 95% efficient, does this mean 5% of the particle gets through the filter?

NIOSH Approved N95 mask filtration efficiency of at least 95%. Respirators are designed to reduce exposure to airborne hazards. The filter efficiency alone does not determine the overall reduction in airborne hazards provided by a respirator. Fit and wear time are also two determinants in reducing exposure. Wearer should be educated about onsite fit testing of respirator for the correct face seal fit. Magnum offers onsite fit testing service for mask and respirators. Please call on customer care number now, +918080850482

Can a cloth, mask or handkerchief help protect against small particles?

Mask doesn’t provide respiratory protection unless they are designed, tested and certified as Respirator. A cloth, mask or handkerchief are not designed and tested to protect against small particles, therefore should not be used to protect against small particles.


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