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Everything You Want to Know about N95 and Kn95 Masks

Sep. 22, 2020

Due to the global pandemic and the violent attacks of counterfeit products on the market, there is a large shortage of N95 masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE), and the potential for a large number of chaos is also serious. Fortunately, the Disposable Medical Face Mask supplier is here to help by answering some common questions.

Q: What is an N95 mask?

Answer: N95 mask is a polyester-based filter mask respirator. It is regulated by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). "N" stands for "non-oil", which means it can prevent solid and non-oil-based particles. "95" refers to the efficiency rating; for N95, the mask should filter at least 95% of the particles.

Q: What is the difference between N95 masks and surgical masks?

Answer: Masks are the most commonly worn masks worn by laymen in grocery stores. According to the CDC, they are fluid-proof, prevent liquid splashes, splashes and droplets, and also protect others from the wearer’s respiratory tract radiation. They are loose-fitting, while N95 is tight-fitting. They do not need to be sealed or installed, they do not provide filtering function, and they are prone to leakage at the edges. Surgical masks are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Q: Does the N95 mask have earrings or elastic headbands?

A: N95 masks certified by NIOSH come with elastic headbands. This is important because the elastic headband ensures a tighter fit and seal, creating a barrier between the mask and the face. If your N95 comes with ear hooks, then it is not an N95!


Kn95 Face Mask

Q: What is the KN95 mask?

Answer: N95 mask is the American standard for respirator masks, while KN95 face mask is the Chinese standard. According to the manufacturer 3M, these masks are considered "equivalent" and "according to the performance requirements specified in the standard and confirmed during the qualification period, they can be expected to function very similarly to each other." This is a list of technical differences.

However, in the United States, KN95 masks are treated differently from respirators. Although their filtration is better than surgical grade 3 masks, they are not considered respirators and therefore do not need to meet the same FDA standards as respirators. Compared to elastic headbands, many people wear earrings anwd do not need to undergo proper testing.

Q: How do I know that my N95 gas mask is genuine?

The N95 mask has been evaluated, tested and approved by NIOSH, so please look for the NIOSH seal on the mask. In addition, the N95 mask is connected to the face through the headband, rather than through earrings like a surgical mask. It is very important to purchase PPE (including mask) from a reputable dental dealer.

Keep a list of approved manufacturers and photo examples of fake masks.

According to reports, there are several indications that the N95 gas mask may be counterfeit. They include:

• No marking at all

• No approval number

• No NIOSH stamp

• Misspelled "NIOSH"

• The presence of decorative fabrics or other decorative additions (such as sequins)

• Requests for child approval

• There is an ear loop instead of a headband

Q: How do I know that my KN95 mask is genuine?

Answer: First of all, it is very important to buy PPE (including masks) from a reputable distributor. And focus on following FDA guidelines before buying and selling KN95 masks.

Secondly, to verify KN95 masks, manufacturers need to ensure accurate labeling and testing through NIOSH equivalents, which are usually performed by Chinese regulatory agencies.

KN95 masks need to follow the FDA regulations for importing disposable filter masks that have not been approved by NIOSH, and must be listed in the FDA's Appendix A or Annex 1.

Q: Should the entire dental team wear masks?

Answer: According to the ADA, since patients may be infected with COVID-19 but are still asymptomatic, “it should be assumed that all patients can transmit the disease.” Therefore, it is recommended that anyone in contact with the patient should wear a mask.

Q: Is it necessary to conduct medical evaluation of employees before wearing N95 masks?

Answer: When N95 respirators are required in a dental environment, OSHA respiratory protection standards (29 CFR 1910.134) are applicable. Therefore, each employee needs to undergo a medical evaluation to determine whether the employee is suitable for wearing the respirator for the first time. If employees have medical signs or symptoms that affect their ability to wear respirators, changes in workplace conditions greatly increase the physical burden on respirator users, or if they are recommended, they may need to be reassessed. Healthcare professional, supervisor or plan administrator.

Q: Is it necessary to train employees on N95 masks?

Answer: Yes. Employees should be trained in the proper use (wearing and removing) of masks, use restrictions, and storage procedures. Initial and annual training is required. In addition, if the user does not demonstrate the understanding or skills required to wear the respirator, the training should be repeated.

Q: Do N95 masks need to be tested for suitability?

Answer: Yes. Respiratory protection standard training requires a preliminary "cooperation test" to determine whether the selected respirator is properly matched, and then an annual test.

If changes in the workplace/activity or the type of respirator affect the wearing condition (such as changes in the face or teeth or changes in weight of more than 10-20 pounds), a suitability test is also required.

Wear only the model and size of a properly tested respirator. If a new model and/or size is used, additional fit testing is required.

Q: Do KN95 masks need to be tested for suitability?

Answer: No. The KN95 mask is not considered a tight-fitting respirator and therefore does not need to be tested for suitability in accordance with OSHA regulations.

Q: If I can't buy N95 masks, what alternatives are there?

Answer: N95 and KN95 are recommended first, and then surgical masks.

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