Respiratory Protection for Healthcare Workers

Investing in Respiratory Protection is essential for effective personal protection in general. It is crucial especially for people constantly exposed to harmful airborne particles. Healthcare workers are one of them. Surgical masks are mostly used for such protection. While they are great barriers against large particles, their filter material is simply not up to par when it comes to taking care of sub-micron particles. Moreover, they do not eliminate air leakages. Therefore, to ensure proper and effective protection, a respirator should be preferred.

What is the most suitable respirator?

The type of gas mask used by healthcare workers depends on the kind of safety that is needed. It is essential that the most appropriate gas mask be used that conforms to the CSA Z94.4 standards of respirators’ use and care, because using the wrong one can be almost as harmful as using none. Finding Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that can take care of all the hazards is impossible. However, the most commonly used respirator in this case, is the disposable n95 mask. Previously, they were called the DFM masks (Dust/Fume/Mist).

Respiratory Protection: N95 Gas Mask

The N part of the N95 mask signifies that it is NOT resistant to oil. However, they are ideal for protection against a number of airborne particles. The 95, on the other hand, refers to the level of filter efficiency, which is 95% in this case, when exposed to fine mist of 0.3 microns’ diameter. An N95 mask is perfect to be used in healthcare settings. It can protect the workers from infectious particles scattered in areas like hospitals.

However, healthcare environments are not the only places where n95 masks can be used. They are also a perfect protection gear against dust and smoke and can be used in industrial workplaces as well. However, people with respiratory complications are recommended to not use these masks without the consultation of their physicians. The reason behind this precaution is that the filters of such masks makes breathing difficult to some extent. If you do not already possess a high quality respiratory mask, then invest in one now in order to protect yourself against the toxic particles around you.