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Thinking of upgrading your face mask to a particulate respirator?

January 19, 2022

As the Omicron variant continues its rapid spread, medical experts are recommending the use of respirator masks, which are more effective at filtering out particles in the air than medical face masks.

In Alberta, respirators are becoming hard to find.  By having a better fit and certain materials -- such as polypropylene fibers -- acting as both mechanical and electrostatic barriers, these masks better prevent tiny particles from getting into your nose or mouth.

Why you might consider upgrading your mask

Particulate Respirators, achieve a closer facial fit compared to other disposable face masks and when used in occupational settings, they require a fit test.  The N95 designation means they’ve been proven to filter out not less than 95% of 0.3-micron sized particles but have not necessarily been tested for medical related parameters such as splash resistance.

KN95 vs. N95

The main difference between a KN95 respirator and an N95 respirator is how they are certified, and the standard they are tested against. N95 respirators are required to pass an inspection process from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which is part of the Centers for Disease Control.  Part of this process includes testing the performance of the respirator against the requirements in US Code of Federal Regulations title 42 CFR Part 84. KN95 respirators are tested against the Chinese standard, GB2626 by a laboratory that holds a CNAS accreditation.

It's important to keep in mind that neither of the two standards is superior to one another, and companies can manufacture respirators for both standards, in both countries. Both KN95 and N95 respirators are made from multiple layers of synthetic materials (such as polypropylene) and are designed to filter out 95 percent of particles in the air.

To see the different levels of particulate respirators check them out below:

N95 and KN95 Particulate Respirators (mhcaremedical.com)

MHCare Medical offers protection and infection control products for schools, doctors, dentists, hospitals, long term care homes and other medical professionals. Contact us today to learn more.

*This article is not meant to be taken as medical advice. Please follow the advice of your local health authorities when making decisions about your own health and the people around you.
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