What is a N95 Respirator Masks?
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), there are different types of disposable particle respirators and an N95 respirator falls into that category.Particulate respirators are also known as ‘air-purifying respirators’ because they protect by filtering particles out of the air as you breathe. These respirators protect only against particles—not gases or vapors. Since airborne biological agents such as bacteria or viruses are particles, they can be filtered by particulate respirators.The different ratings in place for respirators indicate how well the mask would protect against oils and are rated as N, R, or P.According to NIOSH, “respirators are rated ‘N,’ if they are Not resistant to oil, ‘R’ if somewhat Resistant to oil, and ‘P’ if strongly resistant (oil Proof).”This is where the numbers come in.Respirators that filter out 95 percent of airborne particles are given a 95 rating, so N95 respirator filters out 95 percent of airborne particles but is not resistant to oil. The respirators that filter out at least 99 percent of airborne particles have a 99 rating and the ones that filter out 99.97 percent of airborne particles, which NIOSH notes as essentially 100 percent, receive a 100 rating.