What are N95 Equivalent masks?
Covid hit us like a storm. Although there were warnings about the possibility of a pandemic for years none of us were prepared for it. On a personal level it has forced us all to deal with quarantines, lockdowns, and intermittent supply shortages.
Businesses and government all saw the effects as well. Any supplies which can see use in treating Covid, were diverted to hospitals. This saw certain necessities, such as N95 masks become almost impossible to get
Although N95 masks are still very difficult to get Health Canada has approved a limited number of masks as N95 equivalents. These masks have been found to meet or exceed NIOSH filtration standards for N95 masks. Health Canada has decided that businesses and health care professionals may use them in place of N95 masks when those are not available.
It is important to keep in mind that although most N95 equivalent masks are KN95 masks. Not all KN95 masks meet the required standards. A KN95 mask that is not approved should not see use in place of an N95 or N95 equivalent mask.
Whether you have an N95, an N95 equivalent, or a cheap knockoff won’t matter if you don’t use it as directed. With that in mind below are Three tips to get the most out of your N95/N95 equivalent mask:
Three Tips for your N95 Mask
Wash your hands before putting on the mask
One of the primary reasons for wearing a mask is to slow the spread of germs. Making sure your hands are clean of any potential germs before touching putting them near the mask or your face will help with this.
Don’t reuse your mask
These masks are designed to be disposable. The idea is that you will expose the mask to contaminants during use. To make sure these contaminants don’t spread you should not only dispose of the mask after use but also wash your hands after you take it off.
Make sure the mask forms a seal with your face
For the N95 to do its job it must form a complete seal with your face. That means you must pinch the area around your nose so it follows the lines of your face exactly. It is also important that you are clean shaven when wearing an N95 mask. If you have facial hair that will break the seal with your face and the mask will not work as well as expected.