The COVID-19 pandemic started with a case of a respiratory disease caused by an unknown virus back in December of last year. Now, nearly a year later, we’ve spent most of the year wearing face masks and staying away from each other. Face masks have been such a prevalent item during our year, it seems like the only topic of discussion these days.
But, N95 masks in particular have been the focus of concern and discussion, and the term seems to pop up every once in a while in the news or online. Do we have enough? Should everyone wear one? Are healthcare workers in the United States getting enough of them? Shortages of this disposable face mask has been an ongoing issue during the year.
One model in particular has been difficult to find, and it’s the 3M 9205 N95 mask. In this article, we’ll explain everything about N95 masks, the 3M 9205 N95 mask, and why it’s a model that is difficult to find. We’ll also talk a little bit about the company’s efforts with PPE (personal protective equipment) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
N95 masks and why they’re important today
N95 masks are disposable face masks, just like surgical or medical masks, but unlike them, N95 masks are considered a respirator and are the best face mask for virus protection. Right now, healthcare workers need these face masks to be protected at work, since they are in constant exposure to the coronavirus. We’ll explain why this mask is so effective.
The term N95 comes from the classification of respirators established by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which is the standard in the USA for respirators. NIOSH is an institution, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that aims to prevent work-related injuries or illnesses. As part of their job, they test and regulate respirators to make sure they meet the criteria for each respirator class.
Respirators are face masks or mask-like devices with a filter material built in them. The mask covers the nose and mouth, and the filter media traps the harmful particles, preventing the user from inhaling them. They are often used as PPE in workplaces with respiratory hazards.
The NIOSH classification takes into consideration the respirator’s resistance to oil, which is indicated by one of three letters: N for not-resistant, R for resistant, and P for oil-proof. Then, a number indicates the percentage of minimum particulate filtration efficacy, which can be either 95, 99, or 100%. This way, you can see N99, P95, or R100 respirators, for example.
N95 masks are not resistant to oil and have a minimum particulate filtration efficacy of 95%, which means this face mask can effectively filter out 95% of all non-oil based airborne particles present in the air. This includes dust, smoke, and different types of viruses, including the flu virus or the coronavirus. This is why they’re so effective for the pandemic, and need to be used by first responders and healthcare providers.
Why are 3M 9205 N95 masks so difficult to find?
The answer to this question might come from the model’s appeal to eyewear users. A common annoyance for people with glasses and other types of eyewear is the inconvenience of face masks. They make the glasses get foggy, and sometimes the mask doesn’t leave room in the face for them.
The 3M 9205 N95 mask is an N95 face mask that works well with any type of eyewear. It was designed to prevent fogging since the air is exhaled away from the nose panel. It also fits well to the eye and nose contours, leaving enough room for any type of eyewear.
Glass-wearers have been grabbing them up, and we can’t blame them. But, since not everyone uses glasses, maybe 3M doesn’t produce them as much as the other regular 95 masks.
Other benefits from wearing this N95 mask model include a chin tab for ease of positioning and adjustment and soft inner materials for increased comfort.
3M N95 masks during the pandemic
3M is, without a doubt, the main provider of N95 masks in the world right now. Their name has been thrown around a lot during the last several months, and it’s because they’ve been involved in the production of necessary supplies and PPE during the pandemic.
The company specializes in all types of PPE and equipment for many different workplaces and industries. They manufacture and distribute items like face masks, goggles, gloves, among others. But, they’ve been the biggest and most important supplier for healthcare items inside the United States and around the world, mainly focusing on N95 masks.
During the pandemic, their production of N95 masks doubled since January, and they’re currently working to ramp it up even further until they reach the goal of producing 2 billion N95 masks globally per year. But, as an American company, they’ve been focusing on increasing their domestic production of N95 respirators, and also on importing them from overseas. Some of the most popular 3M N95 masks include the 3M 8210 and the 3M 8511.
They’ve also been helping to alleviate the problems that have come from the pandemic in other ways. They have collaborated with governments, distributors, and health agencies, to make sure their products can reach communities in need of protection against the virus. They’ve also been working with experts and organizations to help find solutions to the main problems that have come up from the pandemic, like testing.
Anyone who uses any type of face covering is helping their communities. Whether it’s a reusable cloth mask, KN95 masks, or N95 masks, any type of antiviral face mask is useful. You can find these items for sale to buy in bulk or wholesale easily, but remember that kids need a smaller size to be protected.