What is an N95 Respirator
- A device that has met legislated standards and has been designated to protect the wearer from respiratory hazards in the workplace.
- Approved for use by NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in the U.S.).
- Is fluid resistant, disposable and may be worn in surgery. The “N” means “not resistant to oil” and the “95" refers to the filter efficiency
- A surgical mask is not a respirator
- Respirators with an exhalation valve cannot be used for sterile procedures
When do I need to wear an N95 respirator?
Why do I need to be fit tested
- To provide the respirator user with instructions on how to properly fit a respirator to your face and the importance of achieving a suitable seal, thus ensuring that you are properly protected.
How do I prepare for fit testing?
- Complete Sections 1, 2 and 3 (Medical Screening Assessment) of the Qualitative/Quantitative Fit Test Recordform. Information is collected by Environmental Health and Safety and is placed on the employee’s confidential health record. Assessment is necessary to identify any staff, student, faculty, visitor and contractor that may be unable to wear an N95 respirator for health reasons
Can I be fit tested if I have a beard?
- No. A beard will interfere with the ability to get a good seal. Respirator wearers must be clean-shaven where the respirator seals to the face. If a respirator wearer is required to wear the respirator during the course of their duties then they must continue to be clean-shaven after passing the fit test.
What happens if I can't be fit tested?
- If you are unable to attain a proper seal with any of the available respirators, you may be assessed by an outside agency in an effort to find protective gear that will fit or be evaluated for accommodation.
When should fit testing be repeated?
- Every two years
- When a satisfactory fit test has not been achieved
- A change in one's physical condition such as obvious weight gain/loss or there is a change in facial features or there is a change in medical condition.
For more information regarding fit testing and usage of respirators an N95 Respirator User Fact Sheetis available.
Other information related to Respirator Usage
Disposable Face Mask Information (an explaination of the different respirator codes).
Respirator and Surgical Mask Comparison (3M Company).
Dust Mask Q and A for Homeowners (3M Company).
For more information please contact:
Laboratory Safety Coordinator/Biosafety Officer
Environmental Health and Safety
(705) 474-3450 ext. 4180