If you've been around much of the news lately, you'll know that the Ebola virus has made its way to North America. And if you've been around even more recently, you might have heard about the CDC's recommendation that anyone who comes in contact with an infected person wear a disposable N95 mask. So does that mean you can reuse your 3M N95 masks when they get dirty? The answer is no: these masks are not reusable! But what exactly do "N95" and "reusable" mean, anyway? Let's dig in.
The N95 rating of a disposable mask tells you how much particulate matter the mask can filter out of the air you breathe in.
For example, a mask with an N95 rating of 95% will filter out 95% of all particles 0.3 microns or larger, including bacteria and viruses. This makes it ideal for protecting yourself from airborne diseases like influenza or measles--or even just dust on construction sites!
It is not recommended that you reuse a disposable mask. The 3M N95 respirator is made of thin plastic and will not last more than one use, so it's best to purchase a new one each time you need protection against airborne particles. In addition, these masks are not meant to be washed or worn for long periods of time (more than 8 hours).
The filters contain activated carbon which adsorbs organic compounds from the air that can be harmful if inhaled in large quantities over an extended period of time. Because these filters are designed specifically for this purpose and may lose their effectiveness if reused, it's best practice not to reuse them unless absolutely necessary--and then only once!
The N95 rating tells you how much particulate matter the mask can filter out of the air you breathe in. The higher the number, the more effective it is at filtering small particles such as dust, pollen and mold spores.
N95 masks block 95% of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger (that's only 0.0003 inches), but they won't protect you from gases and vapors like chlorine gas or tear gas--and they're not intended for use in environments where there is a risk of explosion or poison gases present either. They also don't provide any protection against biological agents like anthrax spores or Ebola virus particles (though some people do buy them for this purpose).
When it comes to buying a mask, you get what you pay for. A quality mask can cost anywhere from $1 to $3, but there are some masks that cost as little as 20 cents. While these cheap masks may seem like a good deal on the surface, they're not worth buying because they won't work as well as an expensive one.
If you're going to spend money on something like this--after all, they're not cheap!--it's important that whatever mask you end up purchasing fits comfortably and doesn't irritate your face or make it difficult for you to breathe through your nose while wearing it.
Disposable masks are only good for one use, but you can clean them and reuse them. Reusable masks must be replaced every five years, though, so the cost savings won't last forever.
The N95 rating of a disposable mask is higher than that of a reusable one because it's designed to be disposed of after each use. The lower N95 rating means your reusable mask will filter out fewer airborne particles than its disposable counterpart; however, this doesn't mean they're not effective at protecting you from harmful viruses and bacteria!
3M N95 masks are not designed to be reused. While there may be some benefits to using a reusable mask, such as cost savings and convenience, these benefits don't outweigh the risks associated with wearing a used N95 respirator. The mask needs to be disposed of after each use because it could become contaminated with potentially harmful substances (like viruses or bacteria) during use. In addition, if you're wearing an old piece of equipment that has been stored improperly or damaged in some way before you bought it, there could also be health risks involved with wearing that particular mask again.
Therefore we recommend that you always buy new 3M N95s when needed! They're affordable enough that they won't break the bank while still providing excellent protection against airborne contaminants like pollen dust mite droppings mold spores etc
The 3M N95 mask should be disposed of after each use. They are not designed to be reused and should not be washed, as doing so could compromise the effectiveness of the mask.
The 3M N95 respirator is a single-use, disposable device that provides respiratory protection against certain non-oil based particles including dust mites and pollen. It does not provide protection from oil based particles such as chemical vapors or gases (see our P100 Series).
You can buy a new mask for each day.
If you're going to be wearing the same N95 mask over and over again, it makes sense to get one that will last as long as possible. The 3M Filtrete Paper Style Respirator is designed with this in mind, so it has an extremely long lifespan--six months or more under normal use conditions. You'll likely only need one pack if you plan on using your respirator multiple times per day or week, but if you want some extra protection and don't mind spending more money, consider buying two or three packs at once so that they're always ready when needed!
After each use, dispose of the 3M N95 face masks in a garbage can. Do not reuse them or throw them away in a recycling bin. Do not flush them down the toilet.
We hope this article has helped you understand the difference between reusable and disposable masks. If you're looking for a reusable option, we recommend the 3M 6001 or 7500 masks. They're both N95 rated and can be cleaned, but they have different features that make them ideal for different situations. If you just need something quick and easy without breaking the bank, then go with our disposable masks!