The United States is running low on the supply of N95 masks for healthcare workers. However, this shortage is not reason enough to give in to the COVID19, and that is why the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has authorized the use of KN95 masks in place of N95 masks.
Just like all other N95 masks, the KN95 is also a particulate respirator with an extremely effective filtration system designed to filter 95% of particles. The KN95 is a great means of protection against particles like dust, pollen, and airborne contaminants. These filtering facepiece respirators are designed to offer airtight coverage to the nostrils and mouth of the wearer, shielding them against viruses and bacteria swimming in contaminated air and spit droplets. Crafted with a 3D shape, KN95 masks are compatible with the ergonomics of the human facial structure and guarantees you a secure fit in addition to breathing convenience. Its unique design makes it less stressful put on, and convenient to speak and breathe with. This particle filtering mask is foldable; if you are moving from place to place, it can easily be folded and stored with a lesser risk of contamination.
Life Span of KN95 Masks
With the barely noticeable improvement in the ongoing pandemic crisis, it is safe to say everyone sleeps and wakes up with a mask. However, if a mask is worn excessively, its functional integrity effectiveness is bound to degrade; therefore it is important to know how long a mask should last for.
Depending on the production date, which is normally written on the package, a KN95 mask has a lifespan of up to 5 years if stored in perfect condition.
The KN95 mask is designed to have an extended usage time of up to 8 hours. In a situation such as the current pandemic where healthcare workers are constantly exposed to the risk of infection for long hours, the KN95 respirator can guarantee all-day protection. Hospital wards are always crowded with multiple infected patients; without removing the mask, the wearer can conveniently engage with these patients for 8 straight hours.
According to the manufacturers' recommendations, KN95 masks are designed to be used once and disposed of immediately. Nevertheless, the pandemic hits more cities daily, leading to shortages in personal protective equipment, and as a result, devising means of re-using KN95 masks have become a necessity. Although there is no formal recommendation from the CDC and NIOSH on the re-use of facial respirators, they approve of the below strategies in a time of scarcity.
- Coronavirus can't survive without a host and will die after 72 hours. Dry used respirator for 3-4 days
- Buy at least four respirators, and rotate usage.
- Oven dry respirator in a kitchen oven for 30 minutes at 70 degrees c ( hang with a wooden clip)
- Wear a surgical mask or cleanable face shield to minimize surface contamination of respirator
- Regularly check the nose clip to ensure it is still adjustable for premium coverage. Also, bear in mind that the elastic bands get stretched each time the mask is worn or removed, and that can cause the mask to loosen and become ineffective.
Re-using a KN95 mask is advisable, but can expose you to a greater risk of infection. Here are certain conditions that require you to dispose instead of re-using:
- When the mask is contaminated with bodily fluids like nasal secretions, blood from patients.
- Discard if the mask is used in an aerosol-generating procedure.