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What N95 and P100 Respirator Ratings Mean

With Covid-19 still a worldwide health risk, it’s important that you have the knowledge to keep yourself healthy and maintain public health. Achieving that goal begins with knowing what N95 and P100 respirator ratings mean. Knowing these ratings will help you properly protect yourself from the virus and decrease the possibility of further spread.

What the Letters Stand For

To begin your understanding of how these respirators aid public health, you need to know what the letter at the beginning of each designation means.

  • N-Rated: These respirators can protect the wearer from both solid and liquid airborne particles, but they’re nonresistant to oil-based particles. Therefore, respirators that are rated N are largely ineffective in environments that contain oil aerosols.
  • R-Rated: Similar to N-rated respirators, R-rated respirators are resistant to solid and liquid airborne particles. They’re more resistant to oil-based substances than N masks, but they’re not oil-proof. R-rated respirators can stand up to environments with oil aerosols for a maximum of eight hours; after that, they need replacement.
  • P-Rated: These respirators protect the user against solid, liquid, and oil particles. Respirators that are rated P are oil resistant, and they can be safely worn in oil-filled environments. They are considered oil proof, but P-rated respirators tend to degrade at a faster rate when exposed to oil-based substances.

What the Numbers Stand For

Next, the numbers signify the percentage of particles that are filtered out while the wearer is breathing. The higher the number, the better the respirator is at protecting the user from harmful substances. For example, a respirator that’s rated at 95 will be able to protect the wearer from 95 percent of particles.

Do 100 Respirators Protect the Wearer from Everything?

You should also understand that a respirator rated at 100 protects the wearer from about 99.5 percent of particles. At this level of protection, a 100 rating means it’s virtually impossible for any particles to get through.

Promote Public Health

With the knowledge of what N95 and P100 respirator ratings mean, you can better protect your family, your friends, and the public around you. You can reliably purchase respirators from safety product distributors such as Major Safety. Respirators sold by individuals online can be of poor quality, and shopping centers may not have the proper masks in supply.

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