Coronavirus  Respirators 

What is a respirator?

CDC:  A respirator is a personal protective device that is worn on the face or head and covers at least the nose and mouth. A respirator is used to reduce the wearer’s risk of inhaling hazardous airborne particles (including infectious agents), gases or vapors. Respirators, including those intended for use in healthcare settings, are certified by the CDC/NIOSH

What is an N95 respirator?

An N95 FFR is a type of respirator which removes particles from the air that are breathed through it. These respirators filter out at least 95% of very small (0.3 micron) particles. N95 FFRs are capable of filtering out all types of particles, including bacteria and viruses.

 

What about surgical masks?

A regular surgical mask will not help you with of Coronavirus. COVID-19. According to The Wall Street Journal :

"If used properly, masks can at least help block some large droplets from sneezes and coughs. They can also prevent wearers from touching their noses and mouths if they are careful. But paper or polyurethane foam masks, also known as surgical masks, don’t filter out smaller particles. Reusable respirator masks, also called N95 masks, are considered by some to be best if they are fitted by a professional. In such cases they fit tightly, making it harder for particles to get through."

What does "N" mean?

In general, Respirators are rated “N,” if they are Not resistant to oil, “R” if somewhat Resistant to oil, and “P” if strongly resistant (oil Proof).

You will need a face mask that is at least N95 or N99.  The N rating –  mask rated N95 or higher, means is that the respirator is rated to block 95% of airborne particles as small as (0.3 micron).  It filters 95% of particulate matter including dust, smoke or viruses down to 0.3 microns in size. This can protect against the new coronavirus.

It is important to wear a protective mask properly. Fit these respirators around the nose, cheeks, and chin, ensuring that you don't breathe around the edges of the respirator. 

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Which one is the safest respirator?

WHO recommends:

  • Use a particulate respirator at least as protective as a US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-certified N95, European Union (EU) standard FFP2, or equivalent.

 

How do you properly put a respirator on?

WHO recommends:

  • Before putting on a mask, wash hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water 

  • Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask

  • Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water

  • Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks  

  • To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of a mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; wash hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water

 

Respirators International Classes

To be sure that your respirators are complied with safety regulations, learn about these differentiations.

There are different kind of respirators around the world here is their technical specifications:

• N95 (United States NIOSH-42CFR84)

• FFP2 (Europe EN 149-2001)

• KN95 (China GB2626-2006)

• P2 (Australia/New Zealand AS/NZA 1716:2012)

• Korea 1st class (Korea KMOEL - 2017-64)

• DS (Japan JMHLW-Notification 214, 2018)

Face Mask
Decontamination and Reuse of Filtering Facepiece Respirators

One strategy to mitigate the contact transfer of pathogens from the FFR to the wearer during reuse is to issue five respirators to each healthcare worker who may care for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. The healthcare worker will wear one respirator each day and store it in a breathable paper bag at the end of each shift. The order of FFR use should be repeated with a minimum of five days between each FFR use.