The Truth About N95 Masks
There has been a lot of conflicting information floating around the media circuit since the COVID-19 pandemic rose to its initial peak back in March 2020. The proper use and protection that certain masks do and don’t provide are one of the largest debates, day to day, among Americans. Especially when the devastating fires ravaged the west coast, the question regarding whether your COVID mask was enough protection against the fires and vise vera, arose heavily.
Is your N95 mask better for fire protection or COVID-19 protection? According to a Healthline article entitled, Will Your COVID-19 Mask Protect You from Wildfire Smoke, “The mask that offers the most protection against both the novel coronavirus and wildfire smoke is the N95 mask. If fitted and worn correctly, the N95 mask filters out 95 percent of particles larger than 0.3 microns, so they’re very efficient with keeping out the 2.5-micron particles wildfire smoke contains, according to Dr. William Lang, the chief medical officer at the World Clinic and a former director of the White House Medical Unit.”
The N95 mask is designed to form a very close facial fit and if properly fitted to the individual, can stop at least 95% of very small particles. Health Care workers are those highly advised to wear N95 masks because they are dealing directly with patients affected by the coronavirus. They also have N95 masks specifically fitted before commencing their duties, whereas most of the general public incorrectly wears these masks, which can render them useless. Therefore, if you are affected by the wildfires, it is incredibly important to make sure you are wearing your N95 mask as snug and fitted as possible.
To make sure you are wearing your N95 masks correctly for best protection is to:
- Place the mask over your nose and under your chin, with one strap placed below the ears and one strap above.
- Adjust the mask so that air cannot get through at the edges. Any leakage around the edges of the mask allows unfiltered air and particles to enter.
- Pinch the metal part of the mask tightly over the top of your nose.
- Follow instructions on the package to check for a tight face seal.
- Masks fit best on clean-shaven skin. Masks do not work for people with beards because they will not seal.
The N95 masks are best reserved for healthcare workers, however, if you are affected by the west coast wildfires, an N95 mask is the best choice for you as you try to take the best precautions when protecting your lungs and your health. The perfect mask for those outside of the healthcare profession are the N95 Niosh Mask – Harley L-188 and the N95 Niosh Mask Harley L-288. These N95 masks hold all of the same protective and preventative properties that more commonly seen N95 masks hold while being easily available for public purchase.
The Niosh N95 mask has all of the following features to provide the safest use for you and your loved ones.
- NIOSH N95 particulate respirator is designed to achieve a very close facial fit for optimal particle prevention
- There is a 3-layer construction for pristine protection
- It is fitted with extra-soft ear loops to relieve ear pressure
- It has one versatile size designed to fit most adults
- It filters 95% of all particles
- It is disposable, soft and antibacterial
- It is breathable, comfortable, and easy on the skin
However, the number one general consensus, at the end of the day, is that the truly best way to protect yourself from the novel coronavirus and wildfire smoke, is to stay indoors and socially distance. Especially if you have sensitive lungs. However, if you must go outside and interact with others, the N95 Niosh Mask – Harley L-188 and the N95 Niosh Mask Harley L-288 are your best protection under those circumstances.