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General N95 Respirator Precautions

Updated: Sep 13, 2020

People with chronic respiratory, cardiac, or other medical conditions that make breathing more difficult should check with their health care provider before using an N95 respirator. This is because the N95 respirator can make it more difficult for the person wearing it to breathe.

Some models of N95 respirators have exhalation valves that can make breathing out easier. These types of N95 masks should not be used when sterile conditions are necessary.

All FDA-cleared N95 respirators are regarded as disposable devices for a one-time usage. If your respirator becomes damaged, or if breathing becomes difficult, you should remove the face mask, discard it properly, and replace it with a new one. To safely discard of your N95 respirator, place it in a plastic bag and put it in the trash. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling the used mask.

N95 respirators are not designed for children or people with facial hair, and this is because a proper fit cannot be achieved on children or people with facial hair. Without a proper fit, the N95 respirator may not provide full protection.


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