FAQ Regarding Use of KN95 Masks

  • By:Connexions
  • Date:2020/07/01

Does MEMA have N95 masks and KN95 masks available for distribution?

Yes, as to both, but MEMA has a very limited supply of N95 masks. NIOSH-approved N95 masks filter out more airborne particles than the KN95 masks in the MEMA warehouse. Accordingly, N95 masks will be distributed to professionals who need the most protection in environments where there are aerosol generating procedures, including intubations, CPR or nebulizer treatments. MEMA has KN95 masks available for use by individuals who do not work directly in such aerosol generating environments.

What is the difference between a N95 mask and a KN95 mask?

Filtering facepiece respirators are subject to various regulatory standards around the world. N95 masks are regulated by the United States National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). KN95 masks are regulated by the Government in China. A comparison of the specifications for a N95 mask and a KN95 mask can be found here. There is a shortage of NIOSH approved N95 masks in the United States. If you do not have access to N95 respirators, then you can consider using a KN95 mask as an alternative.

Has MEMA tested the KN95 respirators received from China to determine the filtration efficiency?

Yes. Initial testing of KN95 respirator material was conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). We have worked with the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America, Inc. (AFFOA) to obtain further statistical characterization of respirator performance. AFFOA coordinated testing at MIT campus and MIT Lincoln Laboratory where comparable conclusions about mask quality were obtained. Two key measurements were taken for each material: 1. Filter material performance and 2. Filter material pressure drop. 1. The purpose of evaluating filter performance is to measure the reduction in concentrations of specific aerosols, such as the COVID-19 virus, in air that passes through the filter. 2. Pressure drop, also known as breathing resistance, measures the resistance air is subjected to as it moves through the respirator. Summary results for tested respirators can be found here. These masks were not tested in an accredited National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) testing laboratory, and thus are not NIOSH approved or certified.

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