N-95 respirator masks are the newest hot selling item for “flu preparedness”, but do they work? Yes. And No. N-95 respirator masks were created to protect healthcare workers from `airborne` illnesses like tuberculosis, chicken pox and the flu. They DO work under tightly controlled circumstances, however the general public is not likely to be in those tightly controlled circumstances, so they will likely not reap the benefits of them.
Face masks were first used throughout the 1918 flu epidemic as `protection` against the flu. It likely did not do any good, but laws were enacted and people who didn`t put them on were considered “mask slackers” who might be fined, imprisoned or simply ostracized. With the swine flu claiming increasingly more victims in the US, folks are starting out react by putting on masks again. But now, the higher technology N95 Mask Sale is all the rage.
The N-95 will not be your grandfather`s surgical mask or even exactly like surgical masks worn by doctors and nurses today like you see in operating rooms. They may be specialized items that were created to protect hospital workers against `airborne` illnesses like tuberculosis, chicken pox and influenza. Most of these are incredibly small infectious particles that remain airborne after being exhaled by an infected person. We have seen a lot of misinformation about these masks. Some claim that they work, some claim that they don`t. So what is the reality?
The fact is that N 95 respirators DO protect wearers against the flu- at the very least theoretically and when used properly. The N 95 respirators ARE Airtight and Are made to protect the wearer from airborne particles as small as Mycobacterium Tubuculosis- approximately 45 nanometers in width or about 1/2 micron. The swine flu virus, by contrast, is almost doubly large at approximately 80-120 nanometers. Inside the hospital setting when used by trained practitioners, as set by Centers for Disease Control guidelines, these masks are amazing at preventing transmission of these tiny particles
But there are numerous main reasons why the N-95 respirators are unlikely to work for that general public. The very first reason is that it is hard to have the right fit. Health care workers who wear Coronavirus N95 Face Mask are told, “Here, put this on”. Surgical masks can be worn by anyone, anywhere for long periods of time. As shown by individuals China wearing masks while riding bicycles to work or even jogging, these are pretty comfortable and easy to use. But a health care worker who uses an N-95 must actually proceed through a quick training session. First, the approximate correct size to your face is chosen and placed tightly to the face with 2 tight straps fitting to the head. Second, the metal band on the nose bridge is smoothed down to get a tight fit. When a correct fit is approximated, the head is put into a large plastic tube to approximate a confined space. A trainer, often a nurse, sticks a spray bottle into a small hole and continuously sprays a saccharine solution in to the plastic tube whilst the wearer turns the head back and forth or higher and down to ensure that there are no air leaks. When the saccharine solution is tasted, then a good `fit` is not obtained and the process is repeated with another sized mask until an airtight seal is obtained: sometimes hard for individuals with particularly small or large faces or individuals who have facial hair.
The second reason is the fact that N 95 Respirators are uncomfortable, hot and tight. While a surgical mask can be worn for several hours without any problems, an N-95 respirator becomes uncomfortable and claustrophobic even in a cool hospital room within just minutes. After taking care of someone for even a quick while, the breath feels hot and uncomfortable and most begin to sweat- many people sweat PROFUSELY! Removing the mask after wearing one for only a short while feels just like you stepped into a cool fresh breeze after just getting away from a sauna. Wearing one out of an air conditioned theater while just sitting and watching a motion picture will be unbearable. Wearing one while riding a bicycle or while shopping could be just simply impossible.
Any mask- whether it is surgical or N95 Mask For Sale is designed to be applied for under twenty or so minutes at the same time. The reason being the mask itself will become saturated with condensation from exhaled breath. And when it really is saturated, then your gaflvq filter size may be changed making the mask ineffective and potentially even trapping the offending viruses right against the wet mask- Right Next to the Face!
So, while N-95 masks DO effectively protect health care workers from even face to face transmission of airborne contaminants such as the flu, inappropriate usage by untrained lay individuals real-world circumstances would likely make sure they are ineffective and nullify the potential protective outcomes of these effective filtration devices.