We know that N95 masks keep us the safest. Sadly, scammers know that, too.
There's lot of shady people out there charging you for "high quality" masks that are nothing more than cheap knockoffs.
This is how you spot a fake
First things first. What is all the fuss about? Any mask is better than no mask right? Yes, but cloth masks are no better than putting an old t-shirt across your face. They control your droplets to a point but do almost nothing to keep virus out of your nasal cavity.
Let me explain why N95s are the only real choice to keep you safe.
N95 masks are made differently. They are actually electrostatically charged to attract and filter particles. Cloth masks have up to 75% leakage and exposure to the stuff you don't want and N95 masks have about 1% leakage.
Real, approved N95 masks will have certain characteristics. Make sure before you buy, you look for these qualities:
- N95 masks have head straps, not just ear loops
- The mask itself will have the acronym NIOSH on them. NIOSH is a regulating agency and they approve all N95 masks
- You'll see a manufacturer logo on them, such as 3M
Another interesting bit of info: N95 masks don't have to be single use (which is great because they run about $2.00 each). Of course, if you're in an operating room, it's a single use situation, but in real life you can wear your N95 for a week or two if it is not compromised, wet, or visibly dirty.
Also, while you are trying to protect yourself from COVID, you should know there are some things you DO NOT want to use sanitizing wipes on!