A respirator that filters out infectious agents, dust, and dirt particles is called the N95 respirator or N95 mask. The N95 mask keeps the wearer protected from contagious diseases like viral diseases like flu and COVID-19 etc. The N95 mask is relatively better than other masks or respirators.
What makes the N95 respirator or mask comparatively better from the other masks or respirators is its ability to filter out dust and dirt particles that are even smaller than the droplets created after sneezing or talking, i.e. 3um. The N95 mask does not let harmful airborne particles enter your body.
Significance of N95 respirators during COVID-19
N95 respirators can easily limit or curb the increase in COVID-19 cases since they are quite effective at filtering out airborne particles that are even smaller than 0.3μm. It prevents the user from getting infected by COVID-19 (a deadly virus).
N95 respirators are crucial to limit the fatal spread of COVID-19 because many people that have been infected by COVID-19 are not aware of the fact that they are carrying the virus. They can spread diseases to others since they are unaware of this crucial fact. Therefore, the N95 masks protect an individual from inhaling or spreading such hazardous airborne particles.
Absence of N95 masks due to the shortage
There are several reasons why you will not be able to find N95 masks at your local grocery store. One of those major reasons is due to the acute shortage of N95 masks. After the pandemic began, the demand for N95 masks has risen exponentially.
The demand has risen so much that healthcare providers, who put their lives on the line to treat COVID-19 patients, do not have N95 masks for their protection. Major hospitals of the United States did not have N95 masks in stock for their doctors and nurses.
Major grocery stores did not have ample stock of N95 masks. Shopkeepers, who are vulnerable to COVID-19 because of customers, did not have N95 masks in ample proportions either. They were not provided with N95 masks for their protection because of a plethora of customers.
It was anticipated in March that the United States would need at least 3.5 billion N95 respirators, and the United States has got only 12 million N95 masks or respirators. This whole conundrum showed the feeble health infrastructure of the United States of America (USA).
Therefore, the national supply shortage of N95 masks is one of the crucial reasons for the absence of N95 masks or respirators. Another reason is that the majority of the N95 respirators that are available at the grocery store are made in China.
Low-quality respirators are sold at grocery stores
Chinese masks or respirators have been made fun of because of their low quality. The majority of the respirators that are sold at grocery stores are imported from China. This is why the majority of Americans avoid shopping masks or respirators from grocery stores.
Since the quality of the product is bad, the masks or respirators from China do not offer protection. Hence, when people purchase such products, they end up spreading the virus instead of curbing it because of the low quality of Chinese masks.
That is another reason why you will not be able to purchase N95 masks from local grocery stores. Some grocery stores do purchase such masks, but the majority of the people do not buy masks from these grocery stores.
Reputable stores to purchase N95 masks
Reputable stores like Walmart, Walgreens, Honeywell, and Target sell N95 masks to their customers. N95 masks are manufactured from 3M, and the majority of the N95 masks are sold by stores like Walmart because of the exponentially large demand for these N95 masks.
However, some of the masks sold by these stores are not approved by NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), and this is why some of these masks do not provide adequate protection against contagious viruses to the user.
Hence, an individual must purchase a high quality and breathable N95 mask. For those individuals, some of the reputable brands that sell N95 masks approved by NIOSH in the United States are 3M and Honeywell.
3M is a multinational corporation that is based in the United States of America (USA). It operates in the fields of consumer goods, industry, and U.S. healthcare. 3M is supplying important products to healthcare workers to treat COVID-19 patients because of COVID-19.
The products manufactured by 3M help the people combat the pandemic. It is the largest N95 mask manufacturer in the United States. 3M has multiplied respirators' production around the pandemic started around the world.
3M is also manufacturing other products to help the people around the world combat pandemic like disinfectants and hand sanitizers. Since there is a high demand for various Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), 3M has fulfilled those demands by manufacturing them for the normal public.
Honeywell is an American multinational organization that is based in the United States of America (USA). It operates in the fields of various technologies; building technologies, performance materials & technologies, aerospace, and safety & productivity solutions.
So, these are some reputable stores or websites where an individual can purchase high quality and flawless N95 masks. Since grocery stores do not have high-quality N95 respirators, these are some recommended websites or stores to buy N95 masks from.