N95 vs. KW95: What’s the Difference?
Users are most concerned about the number of particles captured by masks. As far as this metric is concerned, N95 and KN95 respirator masks are the same. These two masks capture 95% of small particles (0.3 micron particles, in fact).
What is the purpose of KN95 Masks
KN95s and the N95s may be closely related. However N95s were approved for use in U.S. hospitals. This is because N95s conform to U.S. standards and KN95s conform to Chinese standards. In both cases, extremely small particles are filtered to 95 percent.
Because of shortages in personal protective equipment (PPE), the CDC authorized use of KN95 and N95 masks. Still, other hospitals and KN95 wearers have voiced complaints about quality discrepancies.
How do KN95 masks work?
Masks similar to KN95 do work like N95 masks, but they are not regulated in the same way. KN95 masks are being questioned regarding their effectiveness in surgical environments. (Check this list to verify if the FDA has approved your KN95 emergency medical mask. A September 2020 review of 200 KN95 face masks from 15 manufacturers revealed that nearly 70% didn’t conform to U.S. standards. This raises the risk of COVID-19 for patients, care providers, and healthcare organizations that have imported masks made in China.
What are N95 Masks?
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 does N95 Masks work?
According to the CDC N95s have a 95 percent effectiveness against particles smaller that 0.3 microns. 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.
According to a February 2017 Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene study, masks are capable of filtering 99.8% of particles that have a diameter of around 0.1 microns. An April 2020 review published by the journal eLife noted that SARSCoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, has a diameter of around 0.1 microns. N95s therefore are especially well-suited to the current pandemic.
Difference between N95 vs. N95 Masks
Both ratings require that masks be tested for salt particle capture efficiency (NaCl) in order to pass. Both masks must be tested at a flow rate 85 L/minute. However, N95 and KN95 have some differences, which are highlighted here.
KN95 vs.N95 – Highlighted Differences Most of these differences would not be interesting to most mask users. However, here are the key differences:
1. A special fit test must be conducted by the Chinese government to confirm that the mask is certified as a KN95. The N95 mask standard does not require manufacturers to run fit tests.
However, this does not mean that fitness tests are ineffective. Many hospitals and companies require their workers to be fit-tested. These are not requirements for US NIOSH certification, but they are company-specific.
2. N95 masks have slightly stricter requirements for pressure drop while inhaling. That means they’re required to be slightly more breathable than KN95 masks.
You don’t have to worry about it, even though it is sometimes difficult to breathe through masks. However, you are unlikely to become oxygen starved. N95s have slightly higher pressure drops while exhaling. This should improve breathability.
Bottom line: There is a difference between N95 and N95 masks
Both KN95s (N95s) and KN95s capture 95%. KN95 masks only must pass fit testing, N95 masks require slightly stronger breathability standards.
Availability of N95 and KN95 Masks
It is possible to find N95 or KN95 masks in different locations. KN95 masks can be found in the United States much more easily than N95 masks. KN95 masks don’t meet NIOSH standards so healthcare facilities and hospitals can only use N95 face masks. The reason N95 masks might be reserved for healthcare workers. This leaves a greater supply of KN95 for the average consumer. KN95 Masks are not inferior, provided they are genuine KN95.