In the United States and in the rest of the world, the N95 mask is widely used and needed. Thus, the safe use of the N95 mask should be made known. And the most important part of the N95 mask that all should have proper knowledge of is its filter.
The N95 mask can filter dust, smoke, and air particles that can possibly be carrying the flu causing virus. However, the lifespan of the N95 mask filter has limitations. It is wise to know just how long the filter of the N95 masks and N95 respirators last to be safe.
When buying a face mask, be it a reusable medical grade or disposable face mask for surgical purposes, it is important to know what type of N95 mask respirator filter is available so you can now its lifespan. This is most important in the USA as healthcare and other high-risk sectors struggle to obtain safe N95 mask supplies in the right size, offering the right virus protection.
Keep note that kids should not use the N95 mask supplies such as 3M N95 masks, 180, 3M 8210, 3M N95 masks, and even its counterpart, kn95 masks. But, face shields may be used and are available in bulk or for sale at wholesale prices. For the best N95 mask with uses for healthcare, construction, and other high-risk working situations, it is vital to check the N95 mask filter type to know if it can be reused and for how long.
But first, why are N95 mask filters necessary?
The N95 mask filter that is added to the N95 mask supplies in the market is meant to provide an additional layer of protection for the wearer. With reusable N95 mask types, the more the layers, this means better use for the wearer or more safety.
It is also equally important to finding N95 mask fabrics made of tightly-woven materials. Wearing an N95 mask without a filter loses its efficiency. So, it is vital to find an N95 mask with at least filter pockets.
Can I wash an N95 mask filter?
There are N95 mask filter types that can be washed. In particular, the N95 mask filter that is washable is called an HVAC N95 mask. This type of N95 mask filter can be worn 2-3 times. Then, the N95 mask filter can be washed. The frequency of washing this type of N95 mask filter can be as often as the N95 mask is washed, guaranteed that you have a reusable N95 mask.
However, be sure to know that washing an N95 mask has the tendency to lose its filtration efficiency.
It is wise to know that not all N95 mask filters can be washed. A very important example is a carbon mask filter. It is crucial to know that the carbon mask filter of this type of N95 mask if the mask is washable can be washed after every use to fight the germs outside of the N95 mask.
But, it is vital to know that the N95 mask carbon filter itself is not washable and should never be washed. Meanwhile, the cloth N95 mask can be washed in a delicate cycle or tumble dry low. High-temperature washing tends to cause the N95 mask to fade or the print to crack, or else the N95 mask to shrink. Furthermore, try to avoid using fabric softeners or dryer sheets when washing a clot N95 mask.
How to safely recycle the N95 mask filter?
The Adventist Health in Central Valley came up with a process to recycle N95 masks and respirators properly. The FDA authorized the Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System or CCDS to work on decontaminating N95 mask and respirator supplies.
However, the N95 mask should not contain activated carbon, have exhalation valves, or contain cellulose. Concentrated, vapor phase hydrogen peroxide is used for the decontamination of such N95 mask supplies. The N95 mask decontamination can be done up to 20 times, this without the degradation of its performance or filtration efficiency, unlike DIY N95 mask decontamination methods.
The N95 mask decontamination process is deemed effective and safe, tested to prove 100 percent COVID-19 pathogens removed in the N95 mask.
How long does a disposable N95 mask filter last?
It is important to know that the filter of the disposable N95 mask should never be washed or cleaned, neither should it be attempted. This type of N95 mask filter can be used for 1-2 weeks without washing, but thereafter should be discarded.
Only the casual use of the N95 mask that is disposable is allowed. That is, no medical or surgical use of the N95 mask is allowed, only for shopping for instance. Now, for those with more exposure, 8 hours of use of this N95 mask, and then it should be discarded after 1-2 days.
Can you wash an N95 mask?
It is important to remove the N95 mask filter if you have a reusable cloth-type N95 mask. A neutral detergent diluted in water should be used to clean the N95 mask, then it should be dried in a place with good air circulation. Bleach should not be used to clean the N95 mask. The N95 mask filter need not be washed.It is important to follow the rules regarding the safe use of the N95 mask and its filter so that you will always be safe when wearing this PPE.