Proper Fit and Usage | N95: Best Practices

The Stauffer Glove & Safety Guide to Face masks and Face Coverings

Face masks and face covers have been used for various purposes beyond the post-pandemic environment. In many industrial and medical settings, face masks and face covers have been essential tools for protecting workers and more!

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Industrial Uses 

In many industries, face masks and face covers are used to protect workers from inhaling dust, fumes, and other harmful particles. Workers in the construction, mining, and manufacturing industries are often exposed to hazardous substances and are required to wear protective gear, including face masks and face covers. 

In the food and beverage industry, face masks and face covers are used to prevent contamination of food and drinks. Workers in the industry are required to wear face covers to protect the food from particles that may cause contamination. 

Medical Uses 

Face masks and face covers are also commonly used in medical settings. In hospitals, healthcare workers wear face masks to prevent the spread of infections between patients and healthcare workers. Surgical masks are used during surgeries and other medical procedures to prevent contamination of the surgical site. 

In dentistry, face masks and face covers are used to protect dentists and dental assistants from exposure to saliva and blood. The masks also prevent the spread of germs between patients. 

Benefits of Face Masks and Face Covers 

Face masks and face covers offer several benefits beyond preventing the spread of germs. These benefits include: 

  1. Protection from Harmful Particles- Face masks and face covers are effective in protecting workers from inhaling dust, fumes, and other harmful particles. They are also effective in preventing the spread of infections in medical settings. 

  1. Cost-Effective - Face masks and face covers are relatively inexpensive, making them a cost-effective way to protect workers and patients. 

  1. Easy to Use - Face masks and face covers are easy to use and require no special training. They are readily available in most stores.

  1. Comfortable - Many face masks and face covers are designed to be comfortable to wear for extended periods. They are lightweight and breathable, making them ideal for use in various settings. 

Proper Fit & Usage of 3M™ Aura™ Particulate Respirator 9205+: Best Practices for Maximum Protection

The 3M™ Aura™ Particulate Respirator 9205+, N95, offers reliable respiratory protection in a variety of settings. To ensure optimal performance, it's crucial to wear and fit the respirator correctly. Here are the best practices for achieving a proper fit and usage:
1. Inspecting the Respirator
  • Check for Damage: Before use, inspect the respirator for any tears, holes, or other damage. Ensure that the headbands are not overstretched or broken.
  • Integrity: Confirm that the respirator is intact and free of any visible defects. Do not use a damaged or compromised respirator.
2. Donning the Respirator
  • Clean Hands: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or use hand sanitizer before handling the respirator.
  • Unfold the Respirator: Hold the respirator with the nosepiece at your fingertips, allowing the headbands to hang freely below your hands.
  • Shape the Nosepiece: Bend the nosepiece slightly to form a gentle curve. This helps create a better seal around your nose.
3. Wearing the Respirator
  1. Position the Respirator:
    • Place the respirator under your chin with the nosepiece up.
    • Pull the top strap over your head and position it high on the back of your head.
    • Pull the bottom strap over your head and position it around your neck, below your ears.
  2. Adjust for Comfort and Fit:
    • Ensure the respirator covers your nose and mouth completely.
    • Use both hands to mold the nosepiece to the shape of your nose by pushing inward while moving your fingertips down both sides of the nosepiece. Avoid pinching with one hand.
4. Performing a User Seal Check
  1. Positive Pressure Check:
    • Place both hands over the respirator, covering it as much as possible.
    • Exhale gently. The respirator should bulge slightly.
    • If air leaks around the nose or edges, adjust the nosepiece and straps and repeat the check.
  2. Negative Pressure Check:
    • Place both hands over the respirator and inhale sharply.
    • The respirator should collapse slightly.
    • If air leaks around the nose or edges, readjust the nosepiece and straps and repeat the check.
5. Using the Respirator
  • Avoid Touching the Respirator: Once the respirator is in place, avoid touching it. If you need to adjust it, wash your hands before and after doing so.
  • Consistent Wear: Wear the respirator consistently in environments where protection is needed. Frequent removal and reapplication can compromise the fit and protection.
  • Speaking: Limit talking while wearing the respirator as it can disrupt the fit.
6. Removing the Respirator
  1. Clean Hands: Wash your hands before removing the respirator.
  2. Remove Carefully:
    • Avoid touching the front of the respirator.
    • Remove by handling the straps: lift the bottom strap over your head, then lift the top strap and pull the respirator away from your face.
  3. Dispose of Properly: If the respirator is disposable, place it in a plastic bag and dispose of it in the trash. Wash your hands after disposal.
7. Maintenance and Storage
  • Reuse Guidelines: Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for reuse. Some N95 respirators can be reused under specific conditions, but their protective efficiency decreases with repeated use.
  • Storage: Store the respirator in a clean, dry place. Avoid storing it in pockets or other areas where it could become deformed or contaminated.
8. Training and Awareness
  • Training: Ensure all users receive proper training on how to wear, fit, and use the 3M™ Aura™ Particulate Respirator 9205+, N95. This can include video tutorials, in-person demonstrations, and written instructions.
  • Awareness: Stay informed about the latest guidelines and recommendations from health authorities and the respirator manufacturer.
By following these best practices for the proper fit and usage of the 3M™ Aura™ Particulate Respirator 9205+, N95, you can significantly enhance its protective capabilities and ensure maximum safety in environments with airborne hazards. Regular training and adherence to guidelines are key to maintaining the effectiveness of this vital protective device.
Helping protect people and enhance productivity. At 3M, our role is to help you solve the complex health and safety challenges you face providing the wide range of resources and solutions you need each step of the way. From identifying hazards to providing education and training, we can help you get your job done and get your workers back home through the science of safety.

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 FM3B Disposable Mask
FM3B Disposable Mask
  • 3 Ply
  • Universal Size
3M Respirators
3M Respirators
  • 3M Authorized Distributor 
 FM3B Disposable Mask, Kids Size
FM3B Disposable Mask, Kids Size
  • 3 Ply
  • Childs Size

Surgical & respirator masks are needed by healthcare workers where they are used in conjunction with other protective equipment. There are several types of disposable face masks and face coverings available in the market. The most common ones are: 

Surgical Disposable Face Masks

Surgical disposable face masks are small pieces of material used to keep the germs from an infected person's coughs or sneezes from spreading. Surgical disposable face masks do not prevent the inhalation of small airborne contaminants, as it is a physical barrier to prevent larger amounts of fluid from entering the wearer's mouth or nose.

Disposable Respirators

Unlike surgical disposable face masks, respirators are designed to reduce the wearer's exposure to airborne contaminants. Respirators are designed to be sturdier than surgical masks. N-95 and N-99 respirator masks should prevent 95% and 99%, respectively, of particulates from entering someone's mouth or nose.

Quick Facts About Surgical Disposable Face Masks

  • Used as a physical barrier to protect user from large droplets of blood or bodily fluids
  • Protect others from the wearer's infections - trap bodily fluids expelled by the wearer
  • Worn by healthcare workers to prevent accidental contamination of patients by organisms present in mucus and saliva
  • Can help keep contaminated fingers away from the mouth and nose. 
  • Not designed to seal tightly against the user's face
  • Not designed to prevent the inhalation of small airborne contaminants - contaminated air can pass through gaps between the face and mask or be pulled through the mask's material. 
  • Cannot be relied upon to protect workers from airborne infections

Quick Facts About Disposable Respirators

  • Offer the best protection for workers that come in contact or close (< 6 feet) to those with influenza-like symptoms
  • With a properly sealed respirator mask, inhaled air is forced to travel through a respirator's filtering material, blocking much smaller particlulates than a surgical mask
  • Can protect the wearer from influenza and other common respiratory infections as well as other airborne illnesses like measles, chickenpox, or tuberculosis
  • Are designed to create a tight seal on the wearers face, so must be properly sized for the wearer
  • Are designed to prevent the inhalation of airborne infectious particulates
  • Provide a higher level of protection than a surgical mask when worn properly

N95 Respirator Masks

These masks are designed to filter out 95% of airborne particles and are recommended for use in high-risk settings. The best options for N95 respirator masks will have two valves dedicated to the movement of air and moisture in and out of the respirator. They are commonly used by healthcare workers and first responders.

Cloth Face Coverings

These are reusable face coverings made from a variety of materials, including cotton, polyester, and nylon. They are not as effective as surgical masks or N95 masks, but they do provide some level of protection.