Written By Justin Jersey / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
With the outbreak of Covid-19, masks and respirators have been in huge demand. The N95 is the most popular choice of personal protective equipment, which protects the wearer from airborne particles.
But, then there’s the KN95 face mask which is said to be equally effective as the N95. Are they the same? Can one use KN95 instead of the N95?
To understand the effectiveness of KN95 face mask, we need to assess every aspect.
1. Understanding the difference between KN95 and N95 masks
The N95 masks adhere to the NIOSH certification of the United States. This standard implies that the mask is efficient to filter out 95 percent of non-oily particulate matter.
The KN95 face masks meet China’s GB2626 standard. This refers to the filtration efficacy of 95 percent for non-oily particles.
This implies that the filtration capabilities of both the masks are the same and that both are effective in combating the spread of Covid-19. The CDC has confirmed that the KN95 is as effective as N95 and can be a suitable substitute when there’s a shortage of supply.
KN95 mask considerations:
- Have been tested for their filtration efficiency and fluid resistance
- Ideal for healthcare professionals and frontline workers and must never be reused
2. Comparison between a surgical mask and the KN95 mask
The surgical masks are disposable protective equipment that creates an effective barrier between the wearer and the contaminants in the environment. There is a metal clip at the top to form around the nose, but the edges does not seal around the mouth.
The KN95 face masks on the other hand are protective equipment designed to provide a very close fit to the wearer. This ensures effective filtration of small and large particles in the environment.
The KN95 mask is thicker than the surgical mask but shouldn’t be worn for a long period. You should dispose of a typical surgical mask, after every use while the KN95 can be discarded after a week.
Healthcare professionals however discard it more often as they are in proximity of an infected person. This measure is critical for primary care workers to avert the risk of coronavirus transmission.
3. General KN95 mask precautions:
- People with serious medical conditions or chronic respiratory problems should check with their health care provider before using a KN95 face mask. This is because the KN95 masks can make breathing more difficult for the wearer.
- A few KN95 masks come with attached exhalation valves to reduce the build-up of humidity and make breathing easier. The masks with valves should not be used in sterile conditions.
- They have not designed KN95 masks for children or people with facial hair. This is because a proper fit can’t be achieved and hence the respirator won’t offer complete protection. This can make the person exposed to contaminants.
- The FDA-approved KN95 face masks are all single-use protective equipment. In situations where your mask is damaged, it must be discarded immediately. Replace the respirator when breathing becomes difficult.
While the national standards for every mask may be different, the effectiveness remains the same. The protective effects of N95 and KN95 face masks are similar but general people can avoid wearing it.
It is also important to understand that in order to prevent the transmission, a combination of equipment and safety methods has to be followed.
Wearing a mask will reduce the risk but won’t completely make you immune if you aren’t careful. The mask combined with proper hygiene techniques can be useful in tackling the spread.
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Justin Jersey is a journalist, stylist and blogger. He is an aesthetician by heart who often writes about art, fashion, decorating and DIY ideas. He loves sparking creativity and giving them ideas for their own spaces.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.