A Few words on the idiosyncratic nature of N95 Masks
N95 masks are of 9 types of disposable particulate respirators. Particulate respirators are also known as "air-purifying respirators" because they protect by filtering the air you breathe. In addition to blocking splashes, sprays and large droplets, these respirators are also designed to prevent the wearer from breathing in very small particles that may be in the air. N95 Masks filter out at least 95% of airborne particulates and are not resistant to oil (the “N” actually denotes “not resistant”).
Masks with or w/o N95 Ratings require a proper fit to your face. In general, you should put on your disposable respirators and adjust the straps so that the respirator fits tightly, but comfortably, to your face. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly fit test your masks.
Most respirators are manufactured for use in construction and other industrial-type jobs that expose workers to dust and small particles. These respirators are evaluated for effectiveness by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which is part of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These are labeled "for occupational use.”
There are some respirators that are approved by NIOSH and also cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a surgical mask. These facemasks are referred to as Surgical N95 Respirators, and give you the protection of both an respirator and a surgical or procedure mask.
N95 masks are disposable and cannot be cleaned. If your respirator is damaged or soiled, or if breathing becomes difficult, you should remove the respirators, discard them properly, and replace them with new ones. It is very important to note that all FDA-approved disposable respirators are labeled “single use”.
N95 respirators can be worn for protection against diseases spread through the air- if they are NIOSH approved and if they have been properly fit tested and maintained.
It is important to know that According to the FDA
Facemasks [&] respirators are devices that when properly worn may help prevent the spread of germs (viruses and bacteria) from one person to another.
Facemasks and N95 respirators do not provide complete protection from airborne germs and other contaminants. They are one part of an infection-control strategy that should also include frequent hand washing, social distancing, and staying home when sick.
Facemasks and N95 respirators should not be shared. Facemasks and respirators may become contaminated with germs (viruses and bacteria) that can be spread between people.
It is important to understand that if you are exposed to infectious material while wearing a facemask or N95 respirator, it should be considered contaminated. After you remove it and dispose of it properly, wash your hands thoroughly.
N95 Sample Masks:
(Please Note: N95 Masks should be used for protection only when engineering controls have been shown to be infeasible for the control of the hazard or during the interim period when engineering controls are being installed.)
To expand further, respirators are created to protect people in a couple different ways. One of which is to remove certain contaminants from the air you are in. The types of respirators in this class include gas masks and particulate respirators. The particulate respirators are designed to filter airborne particles. While the gas mask are used to filter gases and certain chemicals.
Powered air respirators work by suppling the user with air from different sources such as remote location or self contained units.
NIOSH notes that respirators should be used only when all other attempts to clean the air, have been unsuccessful. Some of these attempts include providing “adequate ventilation” and/or the use of control systems that clean the air.
It addition it is important to note, that all respirators recommendations for industry’s are based of of regulations set fourth by 42 CFR Part 84. NIOSH bases these recommendations of respirator use from working with “various partners” from industry area and key government sectors.
One should also note that not all masks are rated with N95, some masks are rated with different ratings such as N100
According to NIOSH, certain Respirators marked with the N100 rating are said to have a 99.7% “filter efficiency level” to protect the user, -who is properly fitted - from oil free particulate aerosols.