10 types of N95, KN95 and good surgical masks to buy now

Based on a report from spring 2021, if an infected and uninfected person both wears a cloth mask, it would take about 27 minutes for an infectious dose of COVID-19 to reach an uninfected person. If both are wearing surgical masks, that time will increase to about an hour. And if both were wearing an unarmed N95, it would take 25 hours to receive an infectious dose. This predates the Delta or Omicron variants, but should provide an idea of ​​how well they compare to each other.

How to avoid fake masks?

There are several ways to detect fake N95 respirators, such as looking for markings on the mask or by avoiding N95 respirators marketed for children (as NIOSH does not approve any masks intended for children). em). CDC provides much more thorough guidance on how to avoid fake N95 on its website.

We don’t recommend buying just any mask you see on Amazon because Amazon allows third-party sellers on its platform that may not be able to check the products nor the products sold by . Walmart, Target, and other retailers may also sell third-party masks. The masks on this list are generally legal, as are many of the masks you’ll find in major retail chains like CVS or from US manufacturers.

Earlier during the pandemic, the CDC authorized the emergency use of KN95, KF94, and other non-N95 masks in healthcare settings, but that order was revoked in June 2021. However, many KN95 or KF94 masks are still sufficient for daily use by people at low risk, and they are much better than no masks at all. So, when buying a mask, keep in mind what your needs are and how you plan to use the mask you buy.

Can I reuse disposable masks?

If you walk into a gas station for two minutes on your way to work with a brand new N95, do you need to throw it out and use a new one on your commute? Incorrect.

Based on CDC guidelinesN95 masks will lose their effectiveness over a number of hours, but they will also become less effective as they are used repeatedly. Part of this is due to the wear and tear of the elastic band resulting in a poor fit. The CDC recommends that if you can’t find data from your mask manufacturer on how many times you can turn your mask on and off, don’t remove and change the mask more than five times. However, this advice is given in a hospital setting.


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