An N95 filtering respirator, also known as N95 respirator or N95R respirator is a particulate-filter respirator that meets the federal U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) classification of respiratory protective equipment, which means that it effectively filters more than 95% of airborne particulates. It is used to protect people from hazardous exposure to dust, fumes, chemicals and gases. As with any other type of respirators, it works by reducing particles to fine particles that are easily inhaled. The type of N95 respirators available depends on their construction.
The most basic type of N95 respirators is the particulate filter respirator or N95C. It is generally made out of neoprene face masks that fit on top of the user’s mouth. On the back of the facemask there is a filter that is either attached to the unit through fittings or a cartridge. The cartridge usually has a locking mechanism to ensure that particles cannot leak out of the unit and cause a fire.
A more advanced type of N95 respirators is the particulate respirator use. This type does not have a breathing mask but a full face mask that protect the user from particles larger than the size of a nickel. It also has an external filter that needs to be attached to the unit via fittings or a cartridge. These types of respirators are used in applications where particle emission is a significant concern. Other types of N95 respiratory protection program include the non-removable and disposable N95 masks that protect users from respiratory irritants while they work.