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Are N95 masks effective in preventing the transmission of the coronavirus?

Are N95 masks effective in preventing the transmission of the coronavirus?


During the coronavirus pandemic, masks were once reduced to specific industries but soon became commonplace.

Not all masks are the same. A filter respirator (commonly known as N95 mask) is supervised by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

To meet the growing demand for these masks and other alternatives, Honeywell has increased production at multiple plants worldwide.

n95 masks

      Types Of Masks

At present, there are many types of masks on the market, including the most traditional absorbent cotton gauze masks, activated carbon masks, medical masks, N95 masks, etc. From a functional point of view, cotton gauze masks have large pores, which are mainly used to protect larger dust particles and do not have medical protection functions. The advantage of activated carbon masks is that they can absorb some toxic gases, but they have no significant protection against microorganisms. Therefore, in response to this epidemic, the recommendations of the relevant experts on the mask are relatively uniform, that is, the use of ordinary medical masks or N95 masks.

In fact, these two types of masks are not one.

The so-called N95 mask actually means that under certain conditions, the filtration efficiency of non-oily particles reaches more than 95%, which is the mask protection level and the most commonly used level in China. In addition to N95, there are higher N99 or N100, and the difference in efficiency can be intuitively felt from the numbers. Medical masks can reach the level of N95, or may not. Conversely, N95 masks can also be registered as medical masks. Medical masks that meet the standards of medical equipment are medical masks. It can be seen that the medical mask emphasizes the "medical" attribute, while the N95 mask is a division of the mask protection level. 

This is talking about the mask material

N: This is the respirator rating letter rating. It stands for "non-oil", which means that the mask can be used in a working environment if there are no oil-based particles. Other masks are rated R (oil resistant for 8 hours) and P (oil resistant).

95: The efficiency of the mask ending in 95 is 95%. Masks ending in 99 have 99% efficiency. The efficiency of the mask ending in 100 is 99.97%, which is the same as the HEPA quality filter.

3 microns: Masks filter out contaminants such as dust, mist and smoke. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that particles and large droplets with a minimum size of 0.3 microns will not pass through the barrier.

N95 masks Material: The filter material on the mask is electrostatic non-woven polypropylene fiber.

N95 masks Valves: Some disposable N95 masks have an optional exhalation valve. CDC stated: "The presence of the exhalation valve reduces the resistance to exhalation and makes breathing (exhalation) easier.

They feature 2 latex-free straps and an adjustable aluminum nose piece with a nose pad, providing a comfortable yet secure fit. The valve allows air to escape when exhaling.

approved class N95 valve masks reduce fogging of glasses when exhaling

Comfortable fit with foam nose pad and adjustable aluminum nose piece

Excellent for use when sawing, sanding, grinding and installing insulation

2 latex-free straps are hypoallergenic and easy to adjust

Universal 1-size fits most users

Some people may wonder why medical masks may not be the highest protection level, and even N95 can't reach it?

This is because the environment used for medical masks is not mainly protected by a large number of smog particles, but viruses and bacteria that may be encountered as long as they come into contact with patients, as long as they can be prevented.

I believe this sentence will not dispel your doubts. Since N95 can only protect 95% of the particles, ordinary medical masks may not reach this level. How to isolate the virus?

N95 masks provide respiratory protection and “reduce the wearer’s exposure to airborne particles, from small particle aerosols to large droplets,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  “N95 respirators are tight-fitting respirators that filter out at least 95 percent of particles in the air, including large and small particles.”

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