Author Topic: N95/P100 Masks in Epidemic/Pandemic Situations  (Read 12974 times)

Offline 19kilo

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N95/P100 Masks in Epidemic/Pandemic Situations
« on: January 25, 2009, 09:07:38 AM »
The n95's won't keep out viruses, just are good for dust particles and smoke.


Dan,

I'm pretty sure that's not entirely true.  As a Respiratory therapist, I work a lot with these masks.  I wear them with Pt's who have TB (tuberculosis) Which is much more prevalent these days.  I think these would do well to stop any virus that is being carried by droplets when a person sneezes. 

Now a dry virus bug floating through the air is another story but I don't think they would survive long with out warmth and moisture.

I have a the flu pandemic protocol from my hospital but can't figure out how to post  a pdf.   

My puter foo is weak.

Actually Dan is completely right. N95 mask is almost (but not entirely) useless against viruses. i'm a graduate of the US Navy's NBC defense program and at one time a hazmat specialist. N95 mask may or may not work but the manufacturer of the device by rating it as N95 is saying it won't work. N99 or N100 is what you need to filter viruses. These are the 3M product numbers of to masks tested and proved to perform as rated by various governments and agencies. Before you invest any money in mask get one example of each so you can compare them with any cheaper mask you may choose to get. They are 3M #8233 N100 particulate mask and 3M #8293 P100. The 'N' designates a mask NOT suited to filter any oil containing aerosol and the 'P' designates a filter that will work against oil based aerosols. The 'P' versions of masks are the better versions but the also cost a bit more. Any mask rated N/P95 or better must have the feature of these masks to be effective. This means if your mask does not have an exhalation valve and two (2) straps to go around your head it is not the best of masks. The exhalation valve really extends the usefulness of the mask and the more expensive mask will last longer because of them. The more expensive mask is also more cost effective as one mask will last 4-8 hours whereas the cheap masks need to be changed out about every 45 minutes. Spend a few bucks and buy at least one of the filters I've recommended so you have some idea of what a GOOD disposable respirator looks like.

regards all,
Shadowalker

The n95 will do just fine against droplets that carry the flu virus and other bugs that maybe out from a persons cough or sneeze.  I think that is what he is talking about.

I have a protective mask for a last resort.  I plan on staying at home for the most part.

Offline ColdHaven

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N95/P100 Masks in Epidemic/Pandemic Situations
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2009, 09:35:46 AM »
Your probably right about the mix up.

I can't get the link here at home so it is on our intranet at work,  I do have a copy of it somewhere.

Are you in a health care related field?  You pretty much described the TB mask fitting to a tee.  We fit all employees that are going to come in contact with a TB Pt.  Every year they need to get retested.  WHich is funny because there are only two sizes, small and regular.

I work on our hospital's surgical unit. We have a negative pressure room where we put TB patients. For some reason we had a rash of these come to our floor around September and October of last year. We don't get fitted for the N95 mask every year. Just that one time. For the most part everyone uses the regular sized one. I have never really seen the small sized ones.

Actually Dan is completely right. N95 mask is almost (but not entirely) useless against viruses. i'm a graduate of the US Navy's NBC defense program and at one time a hazmat specialist. N95 mask may or may not work but the manufacturer of the device by rating it as N95 is saying it won't work. N99 or N100 is what you need to filter viruses. These are the 3M product numbers of to masks tested and proved to perform as rated by various governments and agencies. Before you invest any money in mask get one example of each so you can compare them with any cheaper mask you may choose to get. They are 3M #8233 N100 particulate mask and 3M #8293 P100. The 'N' designates a mask NOT suited to filter any oil containing aerosol and the 'P' designates a filter that will work against oil based aerosols. The 'P' versions of masks are the better versions but the also cost a bit more. Any mask rated N/P95 or better must have the feature of these masks to be effective. This means if your mask does not have an exhalation valve and two (2) straps to go around your head it is not the best of masks. The exhalation valve really extends the usefulness of the mask and the more expensive mask will last longer because of them. The more expensive mask is also more cost effective as one mask will last 4-8 hours whereas the cheap masks need to be changed out about every 45 minutes. Spend a few bucks and buy at least one of the filters I've recommended so you have some idea of what a GOOD disposable respirator looks like.

regards all,
Shadowalker

I am not sure if you plan to be wading through crowds of infected people or not, but I plan to be at home. The N95 mask is there primarily if I am out and need it. There is another mask we have, but I can not think of the designation, and it has a small face shield. I am guessing that is for droplet precautions. Anyway, we are not talking about using these in a prolonged NBC scenario. At least I know I am not. They are good for the use that they were created, being around sick people, and to keep you from contracting the disease through inhalation. If you are attacked with NBC then the best thing you should use is a gas mask which is functioning properly, but that is a whole other discussion.

Quote
The N95 is made by various manufacturers under different names, from MSA's "Affinity Foldable Respirator" to 3M's "Particulate Respirator." Look for "NIOSH N95" on the package; the "N95" is a government efficiency rating that means the mask blocks about 95 percent of particles that are 0.3 microns in size or larger.

The N95 rating meets the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for protection against tuberculosis and anthrax spores, as well as the most foreseeable bioweaponry, which ranges in size from 1.0 to 5.0 microns. So the N95s are more than capable of preventing their inhalation.

In an epidemic/pandemic these should work just fine. For nuclear and chemical its better to have a gas mask.


Offline 19kilo

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N95/P100 Masks in Epidemic/Pandemic Situations
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2009, 09:55:03 AM »
Quote
We don't get fitted for the N95 mask every year. Just that one time. For the most part everyone uses the regular sized one. I have never really seen the small sized ones.

We use negative pressure rooms as well. 

Ask your infectious disease nurse about the once a year fitting rule.  It might be just us but we started doing it just this year since nurses would refuse to take TB Pt's because they hadn't been fitted. 


Edited to apologize for the derail.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2009, 10:02:05 AM by 19kilo »

Offline shadowalker_returns

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N95/P100 Masks in Epidemic/Pandemic Situations
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2009, 10:43:02 AM »
Sorry but you guys are wrong. First off the CDC doesn't always tell you the full story. One reason is that it was determined that there was insufficient supply to in general recommend N/P100 type masks. There is also some misunderstanding as to how virus or chemical exposure works to cause problems. When determining effectiveness of a mask against a virus you cannot use bacteria and spores as the guidelines for measurement. A virus is one to two Orders of Magnitude smaller than tuberculosis and Anthrax. If you want to know what the CDC uses for itself research Hantavirus and the protection guidelines they recommend to all their people investigating or treating outbreaks. Hate to be the one to break it to you but ofttimes civilian medical personnel (and military for that matter) are not told the whole story (high ups are afraid you won't come to work in an outbreak if your fully informed). Do the basic math for yourself. A N95 mask is rated at 95% efficiency. the number of virii necessary to infect can vary from as few as 30 (for  rhinovirus as an example) to 5 million... The number of virii in an aerosol droplet from a human roughly 100 million or more. 95% of 100 million is 95 million. That leaves 5 million or more virii free to infect you. Do some research on the healthcare workers in China who managed to get themselves sick with H5N1, they were wearing N95 masks...Hmm. Don't bet your life on an N95 mask. bet your life on what those in the know use. All the CDC people I've ever dealt with keep P100 masks in their personal kits not N95s.

regards,
Shadowalker

Offline 19kilo

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N95/P100 Masks in Epidemic/Pandemic Situations
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2009, 10:53:17 AM »
Shadow walker,

How will the majority of these viruses be transmitted?  Through saliva droplets.  A n95 is plenty enough to stop.  If the virus is so small that it can pass through one without trouble then I am pretty sure some one with a N100 is going to be in some trouble as well.  Seeing as how the mask is never 100%v sealed with movement head turns and such.   The higher ups are going to give us the best equipment for the cheapest price.  They don't want their staff dieing off in the event of a flu pandemic.  The point is ridiculous, Who will treat the Pt's?  And who will staff the hospitals once it is over? 

A flu bug that potent will more than likely get you no matter what mask your wearing.  I understand your trying to get "techincal" with us.  But most of us folks aren't going to get our hands on a PABR or some that will keep out all bugs. 

95% are odds I'll take.

Welcome the forums.

Offline shadowalker_returns

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N95/P100 Masks in Epidemic/Pandemic Situations
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2009, 11:00:19 AM »
I work on our hospital's surgical unit. We have a negative pressure room where we put TB patients. For some reason we had a rash of these come to our floor around September and October of last year. We don't get fitted for the N95 mask every year. Just that one time. For the most part everyone uses the regular sized one. I have never really seen the small sized ones.


I am not sure if you plan to be wading through crowds of infected people or not, but I plan to be at home. The N95 mask is there primarily if I am out and need it. There is another mask we have, but I can not think of the designation, and it has a small face shield. I am guessing that is for droplet precautions. Anyway, we are not talking about using these in a prolonged NBC scenario. At least I know I am not. They are good for the use that they were created, being around sick people, and to keep you from contracting the disease through inhalation. If you are attacked with NBC then the best thing you should use is a gas mask which is functioning properly, but that is a whole other discussion.

Quote
The N95 is made by various manufacturers under different names, from MSA's "Affinity Foldable Respirator" to 3M's "Particulate Respirator." Look for "NIOSH N95" on the package; the "N95" is a government efficiency rating that means the mask blocks about 95 percent of particles that are 0.3 microns in size or larger.

The N95 rating meets the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for protection against tuberculosis and anthrax spores, as well as the most foreseeable bioweaponry, which ranges in size from 1.0 to 5.0 microns. So the N95s are more than capable of preventing their inhalation.

In an epidemic/pandemic these should work just fine. For nuclear and chemical its better to have a gas mask.



Its not about wading through crowds its about maintaining your mobility in all survivable circumstances. Its not about dealing with patients, this is not a medical board its a survival board. Its about maintaining your life/lifestyles and that of your family. Having a proper mask to use in cases of pandemic breakout is a survival issue. While a gas mask is better, try carrying one with you on the subway or bus, better yet try wearing it... A properly fitted N100/P100 with eye protection can carry you safely through when a gas mask would be inappropriate or unavailable. No half mask is a substitute for a proper gas mask but a proper n100/p100 mask is better than no mask at all.

regards,
Shadohawk

Offline shadowalker_returns

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N95/P100 Masks in Epidemic/Pandemic Situations
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2009, 11:14:47 AM »
Shadow walker,

How will the majority of these viruses be transmitted?  Through saliva droplets.  A n95 is plenty enough to stop.  If the virus is so small that it can pass through one without trouble then I am pretty sure some one with a N100 is going to be in some trouble as well.  Seeing as how the mask is never 100%v sealed with movement head turns and such.   The higher ups are going to give us the best equipment for the cheapest price.  They don't want their staff dieing off in the event of a flu pandemic.  The point is ridiculous, Who will treat the Pt's?  And who will staff the hospitals once it is over? 

A flu bug that potent will more than likely get you no matter what mask your wearing.  I understand your trying to get "technical" with us.  But most of us folks aren't going to get our hands on a PABR or some that will keep out all bugs. 

95% are odds I'll take.

Welcome the forums.

Hey, if in your opinion N95 is good enough more power to you. If you feel any point I've made is ridiculous that's fine though you made my point when you said "they give the best for the cheapest" ...

I'm not trying to get technical I was trying to pass on data that I've learned over a long period of time. However when it comes to my preps and gear I'd rather be technical than wrong.

I can see were getting way off topic and I'm somewhat to blame. this will be my last post on this subject in this topic.

It comes down to is this: If your happy with 95% when for 10% more you could have 100%. Be happy with the 95%.
I personally am going for the 100%.
regards,
Shadowalker

Offline 19kilo

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N95/P100 Masks in Epidemic/Pandemic Situations
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2009, 01:07:39 PM »
Good luck to you. 

Here is a thread I started with some useful links to the CDC and OSHA. 

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=2396.0


Offline ColdHaven

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N95/P100 Masks in Epidemic/Pandemic Situations
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2009, 04:19:08 PM »
Good luck to you. 

Here is a thread I started with some useful links to the CDC and OSHA. 

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=2396.0



Subject Moved to New Topic

Sorry but the topic, although interesting and informative, was derailing the original topic which can be found here: http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=1276.msg23063#new
« Last Edit: January 25, 2009, 04:31:25 PM by ColdHaven »

Offline Roknrandy

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Re: N95/P100 Masks in Epidemic/Pandemic Situations
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2009, 09:48:32 AM »
Mask storage study

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

BACKGROUND: Organizations are stockpiling respirators to prepare for an influenza pandemic. To understand better the effects of prolonged storage, this investigation evaluated the filtration efficiency of 21 different models of National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-certified disposable N95 filtering face piece respirators. These respirators had been stored in their original packaging for a period of at least 6 years in research laboratories and dry warehouse facilities, ranging in temperature between 15 degrees C and 32 degrees C and relative humidity between 20% and 80%.

METHODS: Filter penetration was measured using an abbreviated version of the NIOSH respirator certification test incorporating a polydisperse sodium chloride aerosol at 85 L/min.

RESULTS: Of the 21 respirator models tested, 19 models had both average penetration results of less than 5%. Mean initial penetration values ranged from 0.39% to 5.83%, whereas mean maximum penetration values ranged from 0.95% to 5.83%. There did not appear to be any correlation between the length of storage and failure to pass the filtration test.

CONCLUSION: Results indicate that most N95 filtering face piece respirators stored for up to 10 years at warehouse conditions will likely have expected levels of filtration performance and that the degree of filtration efficiency degradation is likely model specific.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19188003?ordinalpos=200&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

Offline Heavy G

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Re: N95/P100 Masks in Epidemic/Pandemic Situations
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2009, 09:08:55 PM »
(This thread has been selected as a “best of” thread by Heavy G.  You can search for “best of” threads by using that term in the search mode.  Everyone on the forum is encouraged to reply to a post they think is “best of” worthy so we can all search for them.  For more information on the “best of” thing, see http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=3423.0 )