The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has designated some other N95 Alternative Face Masks or Respirators (e.g. N99, N100, R95, R99, R100, or P95, P99, P100) for similar protection.
Please refer to CDC for a listing of NIOSH-approved particulate filtering facepiece respirators. This type of air-purifying respirators protects by filtering particles out of the air the user is breathing. There are seven classes of filters for NIOSH-approved filtering facepiece respirators available at this time. Ninety-five percent is the minimal level of filtration that will be approved by NIOSH. The N, R, and P designations refer to the filter’s oil resistance.
Please visit CDC website to see 3M 8247 R95 is one of the NIOSH Approved R95 Particulate Filtering Facepiece Respirators.
R95 vs N95 Mask
R95 Face Mask as an alternative N95 Face Mask?
Anyone who has researched disposable respirators has faced the dilemma between choosing an N95 or R95 disposable respirator. Questions arise: What is really the difference between the two? Which one should I be using?
The N95 and R95 nomenclature originate with, and are approvals from, NIOSH. NIOSH is the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. It is the government agency that tests the respirators to verify they actually filter what they are marketed to filter.
With respect to the N95 and R95 respirators, both are confirmed by NIOSH to have a filtration efficiency of at least 95%.
Difference Between N95 and R95 Respirators?
The difference between the two pertains to their resistance to oil-based particles.
3M puts it like this, "Under the NIOSH classification system, 'N' rated respirators can only be used for particles that do not contain oils. But, 'R' rated respirators may be used in environments that contain oily particles."
This means that respirators with a NIOSH rating of "R" are have a broader spectrum of protection and are in this sense a better mask. "N" rated disposable respirators offer no protection from oily particles.
To sum up: a N95 Face Mask does not protect against oily particles, while a R95 Mask does protect from both oily and non-oily particles.
What is an oil-based particle?
When oil-based products, like some solvents or pesticides, are sprayed, the oil particles become airborne. These airborne oil particles are oil-based particles. The SDS for the product you are using should make this clear.
Could I use a R95 Mask as a N95 Face Mask Alternative?
Now this question can be answered and understood. Of course, the simplest thing to do is use an R95 even when there are no oil-based particles present. Why? Because R95 does everything the N95 does, plus oil-based particles. Generally, however, R95 respirators are more expensive.
The R95 Mask is an approved N95 alternative - as R95 also handles oil-based particulates with the same 95% efficiency rating as the N95 Face Mask.
8247 - 3M R95 Face Mask
3M 8247 R95 respirator mask is a disposable R95 particulate respirator that provides reliable respiratory protection against certain non-oil based particles. Its advanced electrostatically charged microfiber carbon filter layer is designed for nuisance levels of organic vapors and ease of breathing. The lightweight R95 particulate respirator is effective in environments such as lab settings, petrochemical manufacturing, foundry operations, agriculture, and undercoating spray facilities. This face masks’s adjustable noseclip and soft nose foam provide a custom fit, secure facial seal, and reduce goggle and other eye wear fogging.
This R95 mask is NIOSH approved for 95% filtration efficiency of solid and liquid aerosol particulates that may contain oil. Commonly used for dry particles or “dust” such as those from processing coal, iron ore, flour, metal, wood, pollen, and other substances. The R95 mask is also effective against liquid or oil-based from sprays that do not emit harmful vapors. Its carbon filter layer is rated for nuisance levels of organic vapors per OSHA PEL. This respirator mask can reduce inhalation exposures to certain airborne biological particles such as mold, Bacillus anthracis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and others, but cannot eliminate the risk of contracting infection, illness, or disease.
- 100% latex free
- Niosh approved
- Carbon layer filters nuisance vapors
- Gray color
- Braided headbands
- Molded cone design with collapse-resistant shell
- Fits a wide range of face sizes
- Adjustable noseclip and soft nose foam
- Fluid and splash resistant
- NIOSH-certified R95
- Meets CDC guidelines for Mycobacterium tuberculosis exposure control