What Is KN95 Face Mask Certification (And Can You Test a KN95 Mask?)

Closeup of a pile of KN95 filtering facepiece (FFP) masks, a vital PPE.
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Measures have been put in place by world governments to avert the spread of the coronavirus, including the use of personal protective equipment. There’s still no cure for the virus, but scientists around the world are working day and night to find a vaccine. With over 10 million infections and 500,000 deaths worldwide and counting, the World Health Organization has called upon all governments to come together to fight the dreaded pandemic.

What Are KN95 Facemasks?

KN95 facemasks are part of broader PPEs (personal protective equipment) used in the prevention of coronavirus. KN95 masks are the Chinese standard for respirator masks, almost similar to the American N95 standards.

KN95 masks are designed to capture particles measuring 0.3 microns. They contain a multiple layer construction and a foldable design. They’re comfortable and with a good fit, should provide a tight seal.

KN95 Features

  • Foldable design
  • Multilayer construction
  • Non-woven material (polypropylene)
  • Elastic ear straps
  • Can trap 95% of microorganisms

Benefits of KN95 Masks

  • KN95 masks can be used by the general public as well as health practitioners tending to coronavirus patients.
  • Reliable protection. KN95s are certified in China with stringent testing, similar to that by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.
  • Comfortable to wear.KN95 masks have a great build quality with flexible ear straps. They’re made of non-woven fabric to allow smooth respiration.

Testing a KN95 Face Mask

While some KN95 masks are functionally equal to the NIOSH-certified N95 masks, some fraudulent companies are producing inferior masks. Protect yourself by looking into the selling company. Below is a simple test to verify your KN95.

The Lighter Test

In this test, put a lighter approximately 6 inches away and try to blow it out while wearing the KN95 mask. If you succeed, you may have a counterfeit. A certified KN95 has an inspiratory resistance of <=350 Pa and expiratory resistance of <=250 Pa. You shouldn’t be able to put out the flame.

There are thousands of KN95 counterfeits circulating the market because the global shortage of PPE supply has attracted many con artists to claim that they’re selling original equipment. Always check on the authenticity of the mask you purchase before trusting it to protect you.

Example of the “Lighter Test”: Closeup of a man wearing a KN95 standing 6 feet from a lit lighter.
A lighter test isn’t scientific, but it gives you an idea of the quality of your face mask.

KN95 Face Mask’s Effectiveness in Coronavirus Risk Reduction

KN95 are standardized PPEs that can help prevent you from spreading the coronavirus. Many people with the virus have no symptoms and may unknowingly pass it along to others via the air. Face masks keep your exhalations contained. Their design and material layers are aimed at stopping the pathogens from passing to the other side.

The FDA issued an emergency authorization to permit the use of KN95s due to a shortage of NIOSH-certified N95s.

Closeup of an KN95 facemask with a list of features and benefits.
Feature & Benefits of a KN95 Filtering Facepiece (FFP) Mask, available from Salusen.

WHO, CDC and FDA Recommendations

Local and international health bodies have set regulations and recommendations aimed at suppressing the spread of coronavirus. Among the provisions are public and personal measures advocated by the CDC.

Social Distancing

Experts link the spiking coronavirus infections to behavioral traits rather than the nature of the virus itself. If you attend a social gathering, a peaceful demonstration or a crowded space, your chances of contracting the virus increase tremendously. In other words: Stay away from crowds.

Personal Hygiene

The mortal enemy of the coronavirus is personal hygiene. Research shows that coronavirus pathogens can live up to 3-5 hours on a non-porous surface like a doorknob or a smooth table. You should disinfect such surfaces with a certified disinfectant to reduce the risk. Also, remember to wash your hands every time you greet someone or come into contact with suspicious surfaces. Soap and water or a 60% alcohol content sanitizer are recommended.

Covering Your Mouth and Nose With a Face Mask

You’re advised to use a high-quality disposable face mask for protection. You should also leave medical-grade masks to coronavirus doctors and nurses because there is a global shortage of these PPEs

The FDA is currently helping medical researchers find a safe vaccine for coronavirus in an accelerated time frame. It is carefully examining prospective vaccines that could be up for licensing and mass production before the end of the year.

Closeup of a woman putting on a KN95 FFP mask.
Protect yourself and those around you with a KN95 Face Mask from Salusen.

There’s Hope for the Future

Although there’s no cure for coronavirus yet, nations around the world have pooled their resources into finding an effective vaccine. Humankind has come together to try and control the dire effects of the monstrous disease. Permitting the use of PPEs that have been approved by foreign organizations, such as the K95 mask, is one way of contributing towards this global war.

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