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N95 vs. KW95: What’s the Difference?

Users are most concerned about the number of particles captured by masks. These masks, which are identical to N95 and N95 respirator masks, have the same metric. These masks capture 95% (0.3 micron particles), of small particles.

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What is the purpose of KN95 Masks

KN95s and N95s are closely related, but only N95s have been approved for use in medical settings in the U.S., and the reason is simple: N95s are U.S. standards, while KN95s are Chinese standards. In both cases, very small particles are filtered out to a level of 95 percent.

Due to a lack of personal protective gear (PPE) in the United States during the pandemic, CDC has approved the use KN95 as an alternative to N95. However, KN95 users and other hospitals have complained about the quality of the masks.

How Do KN95 Masks Work?

KN95-like masks work just like N95 masks. However, they are not as regulated. KN95 masks have been question for their effectiveness in surgical settings. You can check this list to find out if your KN95 is approved for emergency medical use. The FDA reviewed 200 KN95 masks that were made by 15 manufacturers in September 2020. ECRI, a patient safety nonprofit, found that approximately 70% of masks failed to meet U.S. standards. This increases the risks of COVID-19 being contracted by healthcare providers and patients who receive masks imported from China.

What are N95 Masks and How Do They Work?

The N95 respirator is the standard for face coverings in both the medical and construction industries. These face covers are made to fit snugly on top of your head, unlike surgical masks.

How Do N95 Masks Work?

N95s can be used against particles as small and as small as 0.3 microns, according to the CDC. This is the largest particle size that the masks can be effective against. N95s are better at preventing particles larger or smaller that 0.3 microns.

These masks can filter around 99.8 percent of particles having a diameter of approximately 0.1 microns according to a February 2017 research published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. A review published in eLife in April 2020 notes that SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 is an enveloped viral virus with a diameter of approximately 0.1 microns, so N95s can be particularly useful for this current pandemic.

Difference Between N95 vs. KN95 Masks

Both ratings call for masks to be tested in order to determine their effectiveness at capturing salt particles. Both masks must be tested at a flow rate 85 L/minute. The differences between KN95 & N95 are highlighted below.

KN95 and N95 – Key Differences Here are the main differences:

1. A special fit test must be conducted by the Chinese government to confirm that the mask is certified as a KN95. Manufacturers are not required under the N95 standard to perform fit tests.

But this doesn’t mean that fit tests don’t help. Fit testing is required by many hospitals and companies. These requirements are not required by the US NIOSH to be certified on the mask, but rather by the company.

2. N95 masks are subject to slightly more stringent pressure drop requirements when inhaling. These masks are required to be slightly breathable than KN95.

Although it may feel difficult to breathe through masks at times, oxygen starvation is not likely when you wear a mask. N95s also have slightly stricter requirements for pressure drop while exhaling, which should help with breathability.

Bottom line: The Difference between N95 and KN95 Masks

Both KN95s (N95s) and KN95s capture 95%. KN95 masks only must pass fit testing, N95 masks require slightly stronger breathability standards.

Available in N95 and N95 Masks

The availability of KN95 and N95 masks can vary depending on where you live. KN95 masks in the United States are much easier to find than N95 masks. KN95 faces masks do not conform to NIOSH standards. Therefore, hospitals and healthcare facilities cannot use N95 masks. This is why N95 masks are reserved for healthcare workers and KN95 masks available to the general public. However, this does not make the KN95 masks inferior as long as they’re genuine KN95.