An N95 FFR is a type of disposable respirator where the filtration media is the respirator. The respirator forms a tight seal to the face and removes particles from the air that are breathed through it. These respirators filter out at least 95% of very small (0.3-micron) particles. N95 FFRs are capable of filtering out particles, including bacteria, viruses, and dust.
Respirators are available in multiple size configurations and are not standardized across models. Fit testing is needed to determine if a particular size and model of respirator provides you with an acceptable fit. Before you wear a respirator in an occupational setting, you for each respirator model you will wear for your designated work tasks.
For more information, see the NIOSH fact sheet, Filtering out Confusion: Frequently Asked Questions about Respiratory Protection, Fit Testing.
Yes. OSHA regulations require that workplaces provide employees respirator training prior to use in the workplace. It is important that you know what respirator to use and how to use it correctly so that it can provide the expected protection. Refer to OSHA 29 CFR 1910.134 for more information.
For more information, see the NIOSH infographic, You’ve just completed your Annual Respirator Training .
In most workplace situations, a filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) such as an N95 can be reused as part of an employer’s respiratory protection program. Limited reuse refers to the practice of using the same FFR multiple times during a work shift. The respirator is stored between uses and put on again (donned) prior to the next potential exposure for a limited number of donnings. Unless the manufacturer identifies a specified duration of use (for example, “single-use only”) or the employer’s respirator program excludes reuse (for example, when exposed to infectious agents capable of being transmitted by contact), users can wear an FFR until it is damaged, soiled, or causing noticeably increased breathing resistance. FFRs should only be reused by the same wearer and should be stored:
For more information, see the NIOSH fact sheet, Filtering out Confusion: Frequently Asked Questions about Respiratory Protection, Respirator Reuse and Extended Use.
Regardless of the setting, the number of times you can reuse an FFR should be limited. Consult the FFR manufacturer for specific guidance regarding reuse and storage of the product.