Product Knowledge: a workhorse respirator

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Product Knowledge: a workhorse respirator

Product: Particulate Respirator 8210, N95

Manufacturer: Minneapolis, Minn.-based 3M.

Knowledge: More protective than a lighter weight surgical mask, an N95 respirator has the advantage of 95% filtration efficiency against certain non-oil based particles. 3M’s product has a two-strap design, cushioning nose foam and a dual point attachment that helps provide a secure seal around the nose.

Because of the coronavirus outbreak, the product faces unprecedented scarcity on retail shelves. The company’s outbreak alert on its web site explains: “3M expects demand for respirators to outpace supply for the foreseeable future.”

Health fact I: A mask reduces the risk of large particles expelled by the wearer. It fits loosely. A respirator, like this one, helps reduce the wearer’s exposure to inhaling airborne particles. It fits tightly.

Health fact II: Even though these respirators are sold out in many places, for most people masks or respirators aren’t mentioned as basic protective measures by the World Health Organization. WHO ‘s top defense recommendation is frequent hand washing with soap and water or cleaning hands with alcohol-based hand rub.

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