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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I am looking at getting a respirator to help protect me from viruses, or a really bad flu. The one I was looking at is this :

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00009363G

What do you think? I also have some N95 from the swine flu scare back in '09.

Is there any other one you would recommend? Also what brand of N95s do you guys usually buy for this application.
 

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Can't see the image, but to be most effective an N95 needs to be fit tested. Respirators and faces have varying dimensions, if your face and the mask don't have a correct fit, they will be useless to prevent inhaling flu virus. Check WHO or CDC websites for tips on how to do a manual quick check on proper fit. Not as good as a true fit testing, but better than nothing.
 

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Bad Moon Rising
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I may well be wrong, because I'm not an epidemiologist, but as far as I know the types of filters that are used for demolition work will also work for casual work in post-disaster environments. If I'm not mistaken, these sorts of masks were used in various post-disaster locations by rescuers who were looking for bodies, digging people out of collapsed buildings, etc.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...i_sku=547000&gclid=CPCw0-rX57sCFeZ7Qgod3k4Aew

I suspect they would work for your application as well, unless you're working with lethal biological agents in some sort of laboratory setting?

Edit: yeah, found yours (link above did not work for me) --

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00009363G...vptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=t&ref=pd_sl_3ofsbkpp4l_b

They appear to be fundamentally the same product.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I may well be wrong, because I'm not an epidemiologist, but as far as I know the types of filters that are used for demolition work will also work for casual work in post-disaster environments. If I'm not mistaken, these sorts of masks were used in various post-disaster locations by rescuers who were looking for bodies, digging people out of collapsed buildings, etc.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...i_sku=547000&gclid=CPCw0-rX57sCFeZ7Qgod3k4Aew

I suspect they would work for your application as well, unless you're working with lethal biological agents in some sort of laboratory setting?

Edit: yeah, found yours (link above did not work for me) --

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00009363G...vptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=t&ref=pd_sl_3ofsbkpp4l_b

They appear to be fundamentally the same product.
That was my understanding as well, as long as it has filters with a P100/P3 rating correct?
 

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We use the N95 masks at work and its always worked well for us and kept us from getting alot of whatever our patients have. Most brands of N95 masks have some adjustment so they fit most people. We get tested every year to make sure they work properly but most seems to be a pretty standard size with the adjustable metal thing on the nose.
 

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Hating the new Amerika.
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With any respirator, it is essential to get a good seal as others have mentioned. One thing that affects a respirators seal is facial hair. Hair must be kept out of the area where the mask will rest on the face.
 

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When I worked in radiation and other hazardous areas we had to be fit tested before we could be issued a respirator, as some have already pointed out. With some types there were different sizes, and some people couldn't be fit to any size, and so could not be allowed into areas with airborne radioactivity; I don't remember full face respirators having different sizes, but I do remember some people not passing the fit test with them (usually men with big heads). Also, we had to be clean shaven, except for a mustache, as has been pointed out. And you had to shave every day, because even a little stubble could break the seal. You can do a field test on your mask's seal by removing the filter and covering the opening with your hand and trying to breathe in; if you can't breathe in at all and the mask pulls toward your face, your seal is probably good. But don't do that test half-assed, or you might screw yourself.

If there is airflow to the mask, as when we had airlines running to us, a good seal is probably less important, because there is a positive airflow out of the mask, and you won't be sucking in outside air.

Remember that a mask is only one part of avoiding contamination. There are very strict procedures that have to be followed too. I have no experience with bio-hazards, but I know that with radioactive contaminants, any part of your body or protective clothing might be contaminated. So your mask might work perfectly at keeping you from breathing in airborne radioactivity, but later after you take it off something that got on your clothing finds its way inside. Doing it right is pretty complicated, and even the professional health physics people in the places I worked didn't always get it right. And I'd guess that biological contaminants are probably at least as problematic as radioactive ones.
 

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The N95 mask is no good, period. One needs p100 mask, with valve. Industrial respirators are not suitable: would not filter out viruses. Like kfilly pointed out NO FACIAL HAIR. Eyes
must be protected also.
 
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