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  • Frequently Asked Questions and Answers relating to 3M™ N95 Respirator

    • 1. What is the difference between a Surgical Mask, N95 Respirator and Surgical N95 Respirator?

      Surgical mask is to help prevent biological particles (e.g. bacteria and viruses) from being expelled by the wearer into the environment. Surgical masks are not necessarily designed to seal tightly to the face, so air might leak around the edges. Many surgical masks are also designed to be fluid-resistant to splash and splatter of blood and other bodily fluids.

      N95 Respirators are designed to help reduce the wearer’s exposure to airborne particles, filter at least 95% of airborne particulate contaminants.

      Some approved respirators are designed to have the characteristics of both a respirator and a surgical mask. These products are often called “Surgical N95 respirators.” In the U.S., Surgical N95 respirators are both approved by NIOSH and cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in surgery.

    • 2. What is a N95 Respirator?

      “N95” is one of the standards for particulate filtering respirator set by the US NIOSH. Approved N95 respirator filters at least 95% of airborne particulate contaminants.

    • 3. Type of N95 Respirators?

      3M™ Surgical N95 respirators are typically designed to be fluid-resistant to splash and splatter of blood and other bodily fluids. They are intended to be worn by healthcare professionals during procedures which might generate a high-pressure stream of liquid such as arterial spray during surgery.

      In general, members of the public would not expect to be exposed to high-pressure streams of infectious liquid. Liquid-droplet aerosols, such as those generated by coughs and sneezes, are capturable by the particulate filter in N95 respirators.

      Therefore, in nearly all scenarios in which a member of the general public might desire to wear a respirator, a non-medical N95 respirator should be acceptable, and a Surgical N95 respirator not necessary.

    • 4. What is the difference between different countries respirator approvals? (95 vs FFP vs KN95, etc.)

      Regulatory standards often dictate the physical and performance properties that respirator products are required to have in order to obtain certification or approval in a particular country. Standards in different countries or regions may have slightly different requirements for certification or approval of respirators.

      Most regulatory standards for respirators have similar, but not identical, test methods and respirator classes. The most commonly used respirator class descriptor is filtration efficiency. This is the ability of a respirator to filter a specific particle in a controlled laboratory test. Because of similarities in standard requirements, the following respirator classes, from various countries and regions, all have approximately 94-95% filtration efficiency, are designed to form a seal with the face, and may be considered to be functionally similar for most uses against non-oil airborne particles:

      • Australia/New Zealand - P2

      • Brazil - FFP2

      • China - KN95, KP95

      • Europe - FFP2

      • Japan - DS2, DL2

      • India - BIS P2

      • Korea - 1st class

      • US NIOSH - N95, R95, P95

      Always use approved respirator to help reduce your exposure to the airborne hazard of concern.

    • 5. Can N95 respirator help protect against very small particles like PM2.5, smoke, soot, bacteria and viruses and provide effective protection against infection?

      N95 respirator is one way to help reduce exposure to fine particles like PM2.5, smoke, soot, bacteria and viruses. Only when properly applied can 3M™ N95 respirator be expected to reduce exposure to airborne particulate contaminants. Healthcare professionals should use those respirators that are also fluid resistant to enhance protection in hospital settings.

    • 6. Can a surgical mask, microfiber cloth or wet handkerchief help protect against small particles?

      Surgical mask is designed to help keep spit and mucous generated by the wearer from reaching a patient or medical equipment. They likely do not provide respiratory protection unless they are designed, tested, and certified as a respirator.

      Microfiber cloths, wet handkerchief’s or similar items have not been designed or tested to help filter out small particles and therefore should not be used for protection from particulate matter.

    • 7. Will N95 respirator still work if I’m not fit tested?

      Possibly. When worn correctly, government-approved respirators, such as N95 Respirators, can help reduce the number of airborne particles you breathe. If you do not receive formal training or a fit test, you may not receive the full benefit of the respirator. However, studies have shown that people can still receive a reduction in exposure if they do the following:

      • Follow the instructions on how to put on the respirator

      • Perform the user seal check (fit check) described in the user instructions

      • Make sure that they are clean-shaven where the respirator touches the face

      • Make sure no clothing or jewelry gets between the respirator and the face

      It is important to remember that respirators cannot eliminate the breathing in of all particles in the air and cannot eliminate the possibility of becoming sick. Standards regulating respirator training for the general public have not been established. For your respirator to help reduce the number of particles you breathe, you must read and follow the user instructions that come with the respirator.

    • 8. What cautions should be taken before wearing 3M™ N95 respirator?

      • The hygiene of your face and hands;

      • Your personal health conditions (please refer to the answer of Question 17);

      • Check and make sure that the respirator is intact, check its expiry date and if the packing is sealed properly.

      • Read carefully the instruction manual.

    • 9. What are the correct procedures in applying 3M™ N95 respirator?

      • Those with eyeglasses should take them off first

      • Pre-stretch the straps before placing the respirator on the face (for #8210)

      • With the nosepiece up, position the respirator over your nose and mouth

      • Pull the top strap over your head, position it at the top back of your head and above the ears

      • Pull the bottom strap over your head and position it around the neck below the ears

      • Move your fingertips from both hands down both sides of the nosepiece and mould it to the shape of your nose to seal air off effectively. Check the respirator-to-face seal for each wearing:

      o Positive-Pressure Seal Check (for respirator without exhalation valve): Place both hands completely over the respirator and exhale. The respirator should bulge out slightly. If air leaks at the respirator edges, readjust the nosepiece, the straps or the position of the respirator.

      o Negative-Pressure Seal Check (for respirator with exhalation valve): Place both hands completely over the respirator and inhale deeply. The respirator should cave in slightly. If air enters at the respirator edges, readjust the nosepiece, the straps or the position of the respirator.

    • 10. N95 Respirator removal procedure?

      • Face down slightly, cup respirator in hand to maintain position on face. Pull bottom strap over head. Still holding respirator in position, pull top strap over head and remove respirator

      • Put them in a plastic bag which is carefully wrapped up and disposed in a covered refuse container.

      • Wash your hands after handling the used respirator.

    • 11. How important is the fit of the respirator?

      It is very important that your respirator be able to seal completely to your face. Your respirator should be well-sized for your face, so no gaps or leaks are detectable around the edge of the respirator. If a respirator does not seal well to your face, airborne hazards can enter around and through the gaps in the faceseal. If you cannot achieve a good seal with your respirator, you should try a different model until you find one that is well sized and seals well to your face. The respirator should not be so large that it is very close to your eyes or impacting your vision.

      It is very important to always follow the user instructions and do a user seal check (fit check) before entering a contaminated environment. Remember, the better the seal, the more of the air you breathe goes through the filter. Your face should be cleanshaven in the area where the respirator seals to your skin. Beards, long mustaches, and stubble may cause leaks into the respirator.

    • 12. Are there different sizes available on 3M™ N95 respirator?

      Some respirator model has different size available. If you have any particular requirements on the sizes of 3M respirators, please contact our sales representatives.

    • 13. Can N95 respirator be washed?

      No. Under no circumstances should an attempt be made to clean or wash a 3M™ respirator.

    • 14. How long can we wear the respirator? When should a new respirator be changed?

      It depends on different situations and environments. However, if breathing difficulty or any distress occurs, the wearer should immediately leave the hazardous area (such as the ward or the place with polluted air) and then take the respirator off.

      Respirators need to be changed in one of the following situations:

      • If respirator is soiled by such body fluid as blood or spittle;

      • If respirator is damaged.

    • 15. Can N95 respirator be shared?

      No. Disposable N95 respirators should never be shared, due to hygiene considerations.

    • 16. What is the function of N95 respirator valve?

      Exhalation valve helps reduce heat build-up inside the respirator, helping to enhance comfort for wearer. N95 respirators with exhalation valves should not be used when sterile conditions must be maintained.

    • 17. Are there any people who are not suitable to wear 3M™ N95 Respirator?

      Anyone with the following conditions is not suitable to wear 3M™ N95 Respirator or have to consult medical advice before wearing it:

      • Suffering disease on respiratory system, asthma or emphysema, etc.;

      • Discomfort occurs after wearing respirator, e.g. breathing difficulties, dizziness etc.

    • 18. Is there any circumstance that it’s inappropriate to wear N95 respirator?

      Please do not use the respirator in atmospheres containing less than 19.5% oxygen.

    • 19. Are children suitable to wear 3M™ N95 respirator?

      Since 3M™ N95 Respirator is designed for occupational use, its size may not be applicable to children’s faces and will affect the effectiveness. It is therefore not suggested for children to use 3M™ N95 respirator till further notice.

    • 20. What should be taken heed of when storing 3M™ N95 respirator?

      • Avoid storing the respirators in hot and humid place

      • The environment and containers for storage should be clean and neat

      • Record the purchase date and keep the receipt

    • 21. How to dispose the used N95 respirators?

      Avoid direct contact with the used respirators. Put them in a plastic bag which is carefully wrapped up and disposed in a covered refuse container.

    • 22. How can I help determine whether a 3M™ respirator is authentic or a counterfeit?

      Customers are advised to purchase 3M ™ N95 respirators from 3M authorised distributors or 3M official online flagship stores to ensure that they get the genuine and authorised products. Should there be any questions, please contact 3M or report to the Customs and Excise Department.

    • 23. Where can we purchase 3M™ N95 Respirator?

      3M Authorized Distributor:

      • Henry Chemical – 2881 6833

      • Atlas International – 2797 9193

      • Goldteh – 2682 6286

      • Safetech – 2687 4038


      • Builderhood.com (https://tinyurl.com/r3zlffb)

      • Henry Chemical eStore (https://tinyurl.com/qk6l2ap)

      • HKTV Mall (https://tinyurl.com/wueacyb)

      • Home Delight (https://tinyurl.com/r4hfcnc)

      • ASOP (https://tinyurl.com/sgdudll)

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