Face masks, respirators, and other Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), are crucial. We use them in construction, the medical field, and various other industries. The n99 masks is used to filter out harmful particles and prevent the spread and contraction of infectious diseases. The n99 mask are the most effective face-covering option available, but many people want to know what to look for when purchasing one and if they can wash and reuse them.
What Are N99 Masks?
N99 masks or a n99 mask is a specific type of face-covering to filter what the user is breathing in. N99 Mask is a face-covering designed to filter the air that is being inhaled. Two main characteristics of these masks are: N99 Masks form a tight seal against your face so that when you breathe in, the airflow coming in and out of your nose and mouth passes through the filtration material without leaking from the mask’s edges. N99 mask materials should be capable of capturing at least 99% particles from the user’s nose and mouth while they breathe. These characteristics ensure that the N99 respirator seals tight and has high filtration.
What to Consider When Buying an N99 Mask
N99 masks offer the best protection by filtering out 99.9% of airborne particles. However, they don’t all provide equal protection. Filters are essential for any mask to last a long time. Think about the type, quality, and number filters your N99 mask will use. Carbon filters are the most efficient at filtering out viruses, bacteria, and chemicals. N99 masks with breathing valves or micro-ventilators make talking and breathing easier. N99 masks are available in a variety of sizes. Make sure that you have enough coverage for your nose, mouth, and chin. A face mask that doesn’t fit properly is essentially useless. Buy certified N99 masks; you want to use one that’s of the highest quality possible.Reusable N99 masks are an environmentally friendly and economical option, but they have a higher up-front cost. N99 masks can be used to aid in breathing if you are active or have difficulty with your breathing.
Extending the Use of N99 Masks
N99 masks are disposable filtering respirators. It is best only to use one mask per day. If your N99 mask becomes contaminated or is exposed to harmful particles during the day, you should throw it out. However, in an era where so many people use respirators and masks all day, the CDC has provided information on how to sterilize N99 face masks. Although they do not recommend that you reuse masks, you can sterilize N99 masks for reuse in an emergency.
These are the requirements for safe sterilization of an N99 mask washable:
The mask must remain effective against COVID-19. The sterilization must not affect the filtration capabilities. It must not have an impact on the fit of the user’s face. The mask must still be safe for the user.
These methods of decontamination are not recommended for N99 Masks:
Ethylene Oxide causes concerns for off-gassing. Ionizing Radiation can degrade filter performance. The use of microwaves can melt the respirator near metal components and compromise the fit. Autoclaves, high temperatures, and steam can cause filter degradation.
Sterilizing N99 Masks for Reuse
Three methods are showing the most potential to decontaminate N99 masks: using moist heat, vaporous hydrogen peroxide, or exposing the masks to UV radiation. Before being worn again, every mask must be inspected for damage or degrading and a seal checked. To test and explore different methods of cleaning face masks, a group of scientists, doctors, and other professionals created N95DECON. These methods have been thoroughly researched but have not yet been tested extensively.
VAPOROUS HYDROGEN PEROXIDE
This method kills viruses and spores of resistant bacteria. 3M has used this method up to 20 times to clean masks without any degradation. However, if sterilized with higher amounts, filters lose their effectiveness. Sanitizing machines can be dangerous and require extensive training.
UV radiation can kill coronavirus viruses, but it does not affect the masks’ ability to filter for sterilizations of 10-20. UV radiation can damage the face pieces and straps, so it is possible to expose the lower layers of the radiation. The mask’s material can be damaged by high doses of UV light.
Heat and Humidity
Heating N99 masks at 60-75 degrees C for half an hour can stop viruses related to COVID-19, but it has not been tested on the coronavirus itself.This is an effective method to sanitize facemasks, as heating them at 60 degrees C and 80% humidity does not seem to damage their filtration capabilities.
Steam and Liquid Hydrogen Peroxide
The CDC also tested steam sterilization of masks with liquid hydrogen peroxide and steam. They used steam bags in low-powered microwaves to kill bacteria without damaging the face mask up to three times. They found that the N99 respirator could be soaked in 6% liquid hydrogen peroxide for 30 minutes, which did not affect its filtration. However, they did not test the fit afterward. Avoid using soapy water when sterilizing N99-face masks. It can degrade the masks’ materials and affect their ability to filter small particles correctly. Do not use alcohol or bleach. This can affect the mask’s ability efficiently to filter toxic substances. Assume it’s clean after overnight storage; the coronavirus can survive for three or more days on certain materials. It is crucial to purchase washable N99 masks from a trusted source. Bielcor, a safety industry leader, only sells products that have been field-tested and thoroughly researched.