With coronavirus vaccinations taking place all over the US and picking up pace in many other parts of the world, medical experts advise that you keep wearing your mask, more so if you frequent crowded places or travel a lot.
Even if you’ve been vaccinated, continuing to wear your mask as advised will go a long way in preventing the spread of the disease and other pathogens potentially lingering in the air.
Which mask should you use?
According to officials, wearing any type of mask is better than none at all. All the same, they recommend the N95 face mask as the most effective way of safeguarding yourself from not only the virus but other airborne elements such as dirt, allergens, and bacteria.
That said, if you’re shopping around for an N95 mask, click here to get information on five features you should look out for to avoid buying counterfeit products.
1. The Labelling on the Mask
According to the CDC, one of the standout characteristics of N95 respirators is the markings on the outside. Start with confirming if the NIOSH logo is present on the mask. The NIOSH logo proves that it’s been approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Secondly, you need to check whether the brand manufacturer name (e.g., 3M), registered trademark, or recognized abbreviation is well-printed on the respirator. Make a point of searching the brand name on the CDC’s index to ensure that NIOSH approves it.
2. A Testing and Certification Code
The mask should also have a testing and certification code, which is “TC,” followed by a numerical code. Other required numbers include the filter class (a letter: N, P, or R) and efficiency (95, 99, or 100), for example, “N95.”
3. The Straps on the Respirator
N95 respirators have two straps that fit well around the back of your head and neck to ensure a comfy seal around the nose and mouth. The straps should be of high quality too. N95 masks with elastic straps are the best choice because they can expand to fit different people.
4. The Material Used
Make sure that you buy N95 masks made of multiple layers of synthetic material, usually polypropylene plastic polymer. Steer clear if it’s made of questionable material or fabric. You might be buying a cloth mask.
5. The Valve on the N95 Mask
Some N95 face masks come with a valve to allow for easy breathability. You need to check the condition of the valve since a faulty valve can dispense unfiltered air that could expose people around you to virus-causing pathogens.
Buy an N95 Respirator That Meets These Qualities For Maximum Protection
If you want to purchase a genuine N95 face mask, make sure to look out for these five characteristics. This way, you can get a legit respirator that does an excellent job of protecting you.
Note that N95 respirators tend to cost more than fabric or surgical masks. So, a suspiciously low price can be a red flag.