What does N95 mean?
N95 is a classification by U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for air filtration. A N95 mask or respirator is able to filter at least 95% of airborne particles.
Are N95 Masks really effective against the flu?
With the pandemic ongoing, we are really curious if N95 mask is able to protect us from the flu virus. A little online research will reveal that the flu virus is 0.17 microns in size. The size is even smaller than what N100 masks can filter out. However, we have to understand that the flu virus does not stay in the air by itself. The flu virus is transported from patient to patient by droplets from sneezing and coughing. These droplets are usually 5 microns or larger. When a sick individual wears the mask, the mask can contain the infectious droplets from leaving the mask. Similarly when worn by healthy individuals, it prevents inhalation of the infectious droplets. Wearing a mask is an excellent way to minimise the spread of virus, but it does not guarantee to protect you from the Flu?
What other Certifications are there for face mask?
N95 has been the commonly used as the standards for the mask. However, there are other standards which are also similar to N95. Some of the performance standard are:
N95 (United States NIOSH-42CFR84)
FFP2 (Europe EN 149-2001)
KN95 (China GB2626-2006)
P2 (Australia/New Zealand AS/NZA 1716:2012)
Korea 1st class (Korea KMOEL - 2017-64)
DS2 (Japan JMHLW-Notification 214, 2018)
All the masks with the above standards would have been tested and certified by the respective authority. For example, the silicone face mask sold by Moveman has been tested and certified under the standards of EN149:2001. We would be able to produce the certifications if requested. So make sure to do your verification for any of the above standards before purchasing.