How long can you wear an N95 mask?

n95 mask

Ever since the pandemic has been reported, masks and face coverings have become a must. Doctors and healthcare researchers are continuously urging people to observe protective measures for keeping the viral infection at bay.

COVID-19 has caused great destruction, across the world, in the past year. As a global community, we’re facing one of the worst times reported in human history ever. From healthcare setups to educational systems and the global economy, everything is suffering a lot. The process of vaccination has entered the human trials however social distancing, face covering, and hand sanitizing are still necessary for lowering the infection rate.

Among these three, choosing a face covering is a little tough. Social distancing is a personal practice, hand sanitizers are available widely but a face mask is what requires special attention while choosing. Until now, N95 face masks made in USA have been considered the safest of all. Many branded companies are selling high-quality N95 masks like ALG health, Deme Tech, etc. However, the demand is so high that N95 masks are running short in the market. Taking advantage of the situation, many fraudsters have come up with selling fake products as well.

Considering the whole situation, some experts have suggested that the general public shouldn’t use N95 masks until the supply normalizes. These masks shall be supplied to medical personnel only and they too must use them for a longer time than before.

But what do they mean by a long time? How long can you wear an N95 mask? Well, here are some quick answers to these questions.

Longer use of N95 masks 

First of all, by longer use, the officials mean using an N95 mask and then reusing it for effective use. Note, it isn’t like that you’ve used a mask for once and now you can use it again in the same way. There are proper cleaning strategies for reusing an N95 respirator mask. So, when using a mask for a longer time you need to make sure it is clean and effective for reuse.

If you’re someone who is around Corona infected people daily and has a high viral infection rate around, you can only use an N95 mask for 8 hours maximum. This is because your environment must be very contaminated and the chances of infection would be great. As if now the masks are usually short, you can extend the use hours provided that you follow proper reusing strategies like;

  1. Hydrogen peroxide vaporization
  2. UV treatment
  3. Moist heat treatment
  4. Dry heat treatment

If you treat your mask properly with these decontaminating procedures, you can use your N95 mask made in USA for an extended period of 72 hours. All of these treatments aim at inactivating the viral load on the mask sufficiently. Special care must be taken while performing them so that the filtration capacity, electrostatic charges, and fit of the mask aren’t compromised anyway. If your mask successfully undergoes these treatments, it can safely be used for a longer time. However, if you notice that your mask is damaged or soiled anyway, don’t consider it for reuse and dispose of it safely.


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