What size particles do N95 masks block out?

N95 masks are considered as the best kinds of masks especially during the time of a pandemic. Since the world does not know a lot about the coronavirus, it is important to at least have information that we can rely on and that we can look forward to.  If you are looking for information about personal protective equipment and N95 masks and N95 respirators, you are in the right place. 

What are the size of the particles that N95 masks and N95 respirators block? The answer is discussed in this article. 

The Protection Offered By N95 masks

The protection offered by N95 masks and N95 respirators are definitely at its highest level for the general population. The following are some of the best information that you should know about the protection offered by N95 masks.

N95 Masks Capture The Most Penetrating Bacteria

N95 masks capture the most penetrating bacteria at a size of most 0.1 to 0.3 microns. This makes it one of the best masks that one can use as personal protective equipment. You will definitely enjoy what this mask has to offer and you will see what it means to have the right kind of protection with N95 masks and N95 respirators. 

The N95 masks and N95 respirators Get The Most Stringent Certification Tests

The NIOSH is very strict when it comes to the N95 masks and N95 respirators. They have very stringent tests and they offer the best kind of tests to make sure that every single individual will have peace of mind when they use the mask that comes with the NIOSH certification. 

The NIOSH test comes with the worst case parameters that allow them to see if the mask can work around the problem and make it work. N95 masks must be able to provide the right protection and surpass the following:

  • The airflow rate must be 85 L/min, which represents a moderately-high work rate;
  • The airflow conditioning rate must be at 85% relative humidity;
  • The airflow conditioning rate must also be at 8°C for 24 hours prior to testing;
  • It must pass a sodium chloride (for N-series filters) or a dioctyl phthalate oil (for R- and P-series filters) test aerosol with a mass median aerodynamic diameter particle of about 0.3 µm, which is in the MPPS-range for most filters. This is how the NIOSH is sure that the N95 mask will be able to capture even the smallest of creatures;
  • The aerosol loading must get conducted to a minimum of 200 mg. This value represents a very high workplace exposure; and
  • The filter efficiency cannot fall below the certification class level at any time during the NIOSH certification tests. This means that whenever a random test is conducted by NIOSH, the class level of the mask coming from the seller must not reach a point where the quality is depleted.

How Does The N95 Mask Capture The Virus?

In order to capture a virus or a small particle, the particle is expected to go through the following processes through the N95 mask:

  • Inertial Impaction. Upon impact, the particles that have too much inertia or move around too much cannot follow the airstream as it is diverted around the filter fiber. This mechanism is important as it is responsible for collecting larger particles. This makes it already hard for large particles to get inside the mask, together with the mechanism below.
  • Interception. There is also a process called interception. The process of interception occurs when a particle passes close to a filter fiber which may be intercepted by the fiber of the mask.
  • Diffusion. After dealing with inertial impaction and diffusion, the individual N95 mask is now expected to deal with the smaller particles. The small particles are bombarded by air molecules that cause them to deviate from the current airstream. This process of diffusion is responsible for collecting the smaller particles.
  • Electrostatic attraction. Finally, there is a process called the electrostatic attraction which attracts the particles towards the mask so it does not go mainly towards the area that it aims to protect.

From the processes above, it is clear that there is indeed a very specific process that N95 masks make sure that it works. For individuals who have been looking for the right way to deal with the problem, it is important that you know how difficult it is to remove the particles once they are captured by the mask.  

The collection mechanisms of interception, impaction, or diffusion are effective in ensuring that the particles will not get removed by any other outside force. Once you wear your N95 mask, as long as you follow the safety protocols and procedures, you can be sure that you are going to have the best kind of protection that is available for the whole world. 

Do Your Share

While the world experts and the health industry is definitely one trying to provide the best information there is, it is important that you do your share. Make sure that you buy your own personal protective equipment like N95 masks and N95 respirators. You are always going to have a good time and be at peace if you know what you are doing and how you are protecting yourself from the virus. Make sure that you do your part in this pandemic and everything will be okay someday.

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