15 Jan N95 VS KN95: Part II
When comparing N95 masks and KN95 masks, it is important to consider what they have in common as well as what the differences between the two might be.
What do N95 masks and KN95 masks have in common?
Bottom line: both N95 and KN95 masks have been tested and are rated to stop or capture 95 percent of particles down to 0.3 microns in size.
What is the difference between N95 masks and KN95 masks?
As we explained in a previous blog, the ‘K’ that is the most obvious difference between N95 and KN95 masks indicates where the mask was certified. N95 respirators are certified in the United States by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). KN95 masks are certified in China.
A number of other countries also certify N95 face coverings. For now, what is most easily available is the KN95s from China, but in future you might see N95 masks with the following designations:
- P2: Australia/New Zealand or Brazil
- FFP2: Europe
- DS2 and DL2: Japan
- BIS P2: India
- 1st class: Korea
And remember, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that N95 respirators and masks be reserved for healthcare workers on the frontlines of fighting the disease.
As Rolling Stone reports, “Keep in mind, the certifications mentioned above only refer to the country in which the standards and regulations were created, not where the masks are made. Most N95 masks are still made in China. Similarly, the CDC has authorized the use of KN95 masks as a suitable alternative to N95 masks for its response to Covid-19.”