One of the most commonly used masks/recommended to protect against COVID-19 is N95.
Is there any upside of using N95 masks instead of N99 or N100 to protect against COVID-19?
N95 which filter 95% of particulates, while N99 or N100 filter 99% and 99.97%, respectively.
Health officials recommend medical staff wear so-called N95 masks because they filter out about 95% of all liquid or airborne particles.
The N95 equivalent in Europe is FFP2, the N99/100 equivalent in Europe is FFP3, and the N95 equivalent in South Korea is KF94.
Infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, MD, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, tells Health that the N95 is still the recommended face mask for health professionals, because it has the capacity to filter out very small particles that could possibly contain the virus. “This is different than a surgical mask, which can only stop larger droplets,” says Dr. Adalja.
In the United States, respirators must meet NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) standards. Within this standard, there are several classes of respirators depending on the degree of oil resistance:
Class N: no oil resistance. A distinction is made between N95, N99 and N100. The number after the letter indicates the percentage of filtration of suspended particles
When worn correctly, N95 respirators block out at least 95% of small airborne particles. So the respirators can filter out some droplets carrying coronavirus. The coronavirus itself measures between .05 and 0.2 microns in diameter, according to a recent article in The Lancet.
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