Is it possible to purchase N95 masks outside of the United States?

For being a solely new disease to us, there are still confusions about COVID-19. Initially, people were so unaware of the disease and its symptoms that they didn’t take social distancing seriously, and this is one of the reasons behind the increasing numbers of infected people. Now, the situation is better; at least people know the symptoms and the protocols to maintain for keeping this disease aside. 

WHO recommended us to use any sanitizer with 70% or above alcohol content. The confusion was sorted this way. Then, there is the mask, and still, people are struggling to choose the best. The market is almost flooded with masks and respirators. Hundreds of companies are trading in PPE kits, masks, and sanitizers. Both online and offline stores participate in this business to capitalize on this situation of COVID-19. There are numerous DIY videos on the internet to make your mask with cotton clothes or any piece of clothes. Which one should you choose, and from where? People are anxious about their safety, and they are scared for their family and kids. They want to be guided, and the authorized organizations are publishing reports almost every day about what to do and whatnot. But, as there are more myths than facts revolving around us, it is difficult to make your mind. We are here to guide you through. 

You are already aware of the name of this mask called N95, right? How can you not? Because of the different features and look of the mask, people consider it the best to fight COVID-19. N95 masks are capable of terminating 95% of germs and other microorganisms to enter through your nose and mouth. However, there are many categories of this mask, and so are the usages and purposes. N95 is typically a respirator used for medical purposes where the chances are high to be infected with body fluid, many droplets of chemicals, etc. It is also called the surgical mask.  A surgical mask is different from ‘N95 masks’ because surgical masks are disposable facemasks that are meant to be disposed of after one use. 

N95 was used for industrial purposes before the workers were exposed to dust, metal, and other harmful elements. And it was also used in the medical professional to fight the microorganisms. Now, N95 is purchased mostly by common people for COVID-19. Many N95 masks come with exhalation valves, and these are banned in the United States currently. The exhalation valve is useful for people who feel claustrophobic in a regular. Still, for the other, it can be dangerous as with the exhaled air, the germs of that wearers are released in the air with the potential of infecting the surrounding. If you feel uncomfortable, use cotton masks or disposable facemasks, but not N95 with exhalation valves. This is to keep in mind that you have to clean and sanitize your mask every day after use so that you can use a sanitized one the next day. Don’t throw your mask here and there, open and put it somewhere to get sanitized. You can check out our other article on how to disinfect your mask in a rice cooker or instant pot. It is super easy and convenient. 

Now, the next question is where to get authorized masks and respirators? This is a global pandemic, so many companies in every country are trying to do some business in this situation. If you ever see a good deal on N95 masks online, don’t rush to buy those in bulk. Remember, for selling the mask in public, a company in the United States needs NIOSH and CDC’s authorization. Before investing your money, make sure that these organizations approve the seller company. 

As 3M is the most popular company to manufacture and sell N95 masks, many people ask if it is possible to buy them outside the United States. The answer is yes. For the rapid and rigorous sale, there was a shortage in the production of the mask. As the common people bought them in bulk, the medical professionals and the frontline workers were not getting it. These are the people who need protection the most. But, 3M has managed it well, and now they have doubled the production and are ready to export those to various countries across the Globe. However, 3M is not the only company that is reputed and authorized. Honeywell is also a name that you can trust. They have expanded their business a lot, expecting to create a new job for 500 more people and they are ready to export their products all over the world. This is about the United States. Other countries also have their authorization centers that check and approve the medical equipment before they hit the market. Follow the guidelines of those organizations and get your mask accordingly. Don’t compromise with your safety even if the deal is great. 

Last, we want to say that if you have any confusion, you can always ask the expert or the government helplines which are on in all countries. Don’t let your kids wear N95 masks, with or without exhalation valves. Don’t buy unauthorized masks or respirators. Maintain all given protocols and boost your immunity. We hope the world will be again itself soon, with all of us cooperating. 

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