N95 Mask Is Your Most Important Travel Accessory & Here’s How To Pick The Right One!

by Sanjana Shenoy
N95 Mask Is Your Most Important Travel Accessory & Here’s How To Pick The Right One!

With India facing a Covid-19 third wave, it’s absolutely necessary to mask up. A one-stop solution to keep any infection at bay is to wear an N95 pollution mask. This mask has filters that are electrostatically charged to trap viruses, bacteria and airborne particles. N95 symbolises ‘N’, for the mask’s ability to filter ‘non-oil’ particles and ’95’ refers to the multiple layers that filter out ’95 per cent’ of unsafe particles. Since N95 mask is your most important travel accessory, then how do you pick the right one? Well, read on to know more.

Why Is N95 Mask Better Than Other Masks?

N95 is absolutely necessary while travelling or visiting hospitals and closely crowded spaces. While cotton masks are popular, they offer poor protection from coronavirus. Surgical masks on the other hand only protect people from large droplets but are ineffective against smaller particles. That’s when N95 comes in handy as its multiple layers made of polypropylene plastic polymer provides ample coverage to your nose and mouth and protect you against particles that are as small as 0.3 microns in size. It filters out allergens, dirt, viruses, bacteria and contamination.

n95 mask
Picture Credits: Nicholas PFOSI, Reuters

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How Do You Choose The Right N95 Mask?

You might confuse N95 with K95. Here’s the difference, N95 is approved by the USA based National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The K95 mask in turn has a certification issued in China. To choose the right N95 mask, look for an original approval marking by NIOSH. Next, avoid buying N95 masks with breathing valves as they let out air exhaled and expose people to infection. These masks are not suitable for closed spaces. Finally, to protect yourself 100 per cent from coronavirus, experts urge you to double mask with a good fitting N95 first and a three-ply surgical mask on top.

n95 mask
Picture Credits: SDI Productions/ Getty Images

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Who Should Avoid Wearing The N95 Mask?

Patients suffering from heart and lung diseases are advised to be careful or perhaps avid wearing an N95 mask as breathing can get difficult. So, it’s better to consult your doctor on the same. Children must also not wear N95 masks as they may fund it difficult to breathe. NIOSH also doesn’t approve respiratory protection for children. They can instead wear cloth or disposable masks that are well-fitted, prevent leakage of air and carry out filtration.

n95 mask
Picture Credits: Halfpoint Images/ Getty Images

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N95 masks are priced from ₹199 to ₹599, you can find these at discounted prices online. While these masks are disposable, there is no specific date mentioned for their duration. Make sure you throw these masks once they are damaged or deformed as it can hamper your health. To correctly wear your mask, read the user’s manual first. Tie the two straps around your head and adjust the seal inside the rim of the mask, so it fits on your nose tightly and covers your mouth.