What are N95 masks?
An N95 face-piece or particulate respirator is a special type of face mask that aims towards the filtration of various air-borne particulates and gives protection to the user against these very particles that could prove to be harmful when inhaled through the nose or mouth. An N95 mask comes in a wide range of variety and their purposes also vary as per the target consumers, they can also be categorized as the primary component of the PPE (personal protective equipment) since they are an indispensable tool in the protection against the various deadly particulates that are present in the air.
N95 and the Coronavirus
When the Covid-19 outbreak occurred and started spreading in various regions of the world, during this unprecedented time, the public that was daunted beyond one's imagination started their fight for survival by hoarding goods and all kinds of supplies in their homes for the quarantine period. The business giants also didn’t spare any mercy to the already suffering public at all as they still choose to not lower the prices of the necessities and similarly, the prices of masks such as the N95 masks and surgical masks reached an all-time high and didn’t simmer down until the end of the first wave of this deadly disease.
The N95s are deemed as the only viable masks against the coronavirus and their scarcity during the first wave was a misfortune as it could have helped in saving the lives of thousands of healthcare workers and even civilians around the whole world. The Governments, understanding the importance of this mask resorted to importing them from foreign to ensure the availability of the N95s for both the public use and healthcare workers’ use.
What role did Amazon play?
Enter Amazon, the largest e-commerce website in the world, and the leading retailing brand of the United States. This multinational and technological company, that promotes trade between people from different countries turned out to be a life-saving innovation during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we all know that the United States along with most of the countries was on strict lockdown due to the rapid emergence of the COVID cases and in these circumstances, people could not go out for purchasing the items of their need.
In such cases, Amazon proved to be a source of relief for the general public in the US and everywhere by facilitating trade between people through finding a retailer for the customers online for their desired products- such as medicines, grocery, apparel, entertainment items, and anything one could demand.
Amazon also played its part in ensuring the availability of the N95s for the general public as they even took the selfless step of waiving off their commission fees from the sellers' to encourage the sellers to sell the masks at lower prices and ensure its provision to the public. At the current moment, there are still plenty of stores on Amazon selling different variants of the N95 masks. You can find the following N95 masks on the official Amazon website:
- 3M N95 VFlex Particulate Respirator
This N95 mask by the well-known 3M company is an economical choice for a respirator when seeking protection from dust and other air-borne particulates. This disposable N95 mask has a shelf life of 5 years, has a filter media and a v-shaped pleat that makes the breathing process easier for the user.
- 3M 1860 N95 Particulate Respirator & Surgical Mask
The 3M Company designed this N95 respirator specifically for the healthcare workers everywhere and it has also been approved by NIOSH and FDA for usage. This N95 mask provides protection against biological particles and fluids even. This N95 respirator is the foremost choice of all the healthcare workers around the world.
- 3M 8511, N95 Particulate Respirator with Valve
This N95 mask comes bearing the typical 3M cool flow valve that reduces heat fogging and moisture and is comfortable to the point that it could be easily worn for prolonged hours. This particular N95 also has an AEM function for the ease of breathing and also provides protection against certain biological particles.
- 3M 8210 N95 Disposable Respirator Mask
This N95 respirator’s filtering efficiency was found to be about 80% when the product was tested against a sodium chloride particle of 03-micron and lies in the P1 class of filtering efficiency. The mask has 3 layers that makes it immensely efficient against airborne particulates.
- 3M Electret Media Disposable Mask
This N95 mask is the best choice when seeking protection against dust, mist and fumes and the material used in the manufacturing of this mask, as the name suggests is Electret Media. The mask is available in one color only, that is white.
Note: The availability of these masks on the Amazon website can vary from country to country, however you can always look for them on the official 3M website and purchase them from the store directly.
Amazon is the leading retailer of all kinds of goods in the United States and all over the world and is a platform that managed to revolutionize the E-commerce industry since its inception. N95 masks and Amazon, both proved themselves to be indispensable during the Pandemic as one was crucial to seek protection against the deadly virus and the other one was the platform that ensured the availability of the former mentioned, N95 mask.
At the current moment, not a lot of stores are selling the NIOSH approved N95 masks as the platform had also been advised in the past to reserve the N95 for the US healthcare workers solely but you can find very reasonable substitutes of the N95s by some trustworthy brands on the website.