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The N95 face mask-do you know how often to change it?

Most N95 face masks are disposable consumables, especially when used to prevent infections caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi and other pathogens in the air. N95 masks should not be used for a long time, otherwise pathogens may accumulate and multiply on the surface of the mask, and eventually the inner surface of the mask will be contaminated and the disease prevention efficiency will be greatly reduced. This is slightly different from anti-fog and industrial dust inhalation, the latter case can be worn for a longer time.

A few days ago, the China Food and Drug Administration's public account reprinted the "Extended Use and Reuse of N95 Masks" by IPEM (International Pharmaceutical Engineering Management). The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) said:N95 masks can be reused as long as they "maintain their structural and functional integrity and the filter material has not been physically damaged or soiled".

KN95 Face Mask

Should we sterilize the mask before reuse? The answer is that no disinfection is required.

However, when putting on and taking off the mask, it is best to use clean hands, gloves or paper towels. This keeps the mask substantially free from contamination, because the main risk of mask contamination is hands, not air. Attempting to disinfect the mask may damage its "structural and functional integrity", it is best not to do so.

Under the premise of observing the hand cleaning practices and correct putting on and taking off, the following steps can be taken to extend or reuse the N95 mask to avoid contact transmission:

1. Discard N95 protective face masks that are contaminated by contact with blood, respiratory tract or nasal secretions or other body fluids.
2. After close contact with infected persons who need preventive measures for infectious diseases, N95 masks should be discarded.
3. Hang the used mask in the designated storage area between uses or place it in a clean, breathable container (for example, a paper bag). To minimize potential cross-contamination, store masks separately, avoid contact with each other, and clearly identify the person who uses the mask. Storage containers should be handled or cleaned regularly.
4. Before and after touching or adjusting the mask, use soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer to clean your hands.
5. Avoid touching the inside of the mask. If you accidentally touch the inside of the mask, please clean your hands as described above.

6. When wearing the used N95 mask and performing user seal inspection, clean (non-sterile) gloves should be used. After wearing and adjusting, the gloves should be discarded.

7. Discard masks that are obviously damaged or difficult to breathe.

Of course, some people say that I can change it every 1 hour, I think it is okay, but after all, N95 masks are expensive, there is no need to replace them frequently, and it is more appropriate to continue to use them when the protection effect is still good.

N95 Face Mask

Can N95 masks be worn for a long time?

Experts suggest that the best time to wear a single N95 mask should not exceed 4 hours. Because the N95 mask is an industrial dust mask, its tightness is good, and it is easy to cause people to have trouble breathing and lack of oxygen. If the weather is haze, citizens do not need to wear N95 masks. They can choose KN95 masks or KN90 masks that meet the national standard, or they can wear general medical masks to resist most pollutants.

What are the levels of masks?

1. N95, N99, N100 can filter out at least 95%, 99%, 99.97% of suspended particles

2. R95, R99, R100 can filter out at least 95%, 99%, 99.97% of suspended particles

3. P95, P99, P100 can filter out at least 95%, 99%, 99.97% of suspended particles