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Old 04-11-2020, 07:41 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 358
A few words about N95 respirator

I thought I write a few words about N95 mask, sorry if this information are trivial to you. if you are next to someone wearing an N95 mask with valve (the respirator has a protruding mechanism on the surface), stay away from this wearer much farther than 6 feet. This valve helps the wearer breaths easier by opening up and let out breath go directly out. So it protects the wearer but not people around. Also, this valve breaks up respiratory droplets to many more (than no valve) micro-droplets and accelerates them further. Think of the size of the lung and the valve opening, the effect is similar to generating a jet stream from a garden hose. Some of these respirators even have a battery operated micro fan attached to this valve which generates more micro-droplets and blows them further.

If you are a wearer of N95 with valve, please tape it shut, or tape a cloth over it. You can still breath out easier (than respirator with no valve) with it with the cloth, it also has some benefit to you. The valve is just a very simple cheap mechanism, which overtime (particularly with repeat sanitizing for reuse) might not close fully, and let in unfiltered air. During the breath out phase, a sticky nose hair might stick to the edge, preventing full closure. The cloth over the valve stops much of the outgoing droplets and also gives some level of filtration if the valve does not close fully or slow to close.

Last, when wearing a highly restrictive respirator, it’s possible that it will raise your heart rate and cause an event for you. It depends on your heart condition and lung capacity. Test fit and wear it at home, walk around for 10 minutes to see how you feel before going out.

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