What is the Shelf Life of N95 Mask?
The most common and standard shelf life of an N95 mask is five years from its production date. However, it should be stored in its original packaging and should be stored properly.
These N95 masks should be stored in a clean place to protect them from damage, contamination, dust, sunlight, extreme temperatures, and damaging chemicals. Storing them properly will also prevent their deformation.
The packaging of the N95 masks should bear the following information like Use by Date, Date of Manufacture, Manufacturer’s Lot Number, the Manufacturer.
You have to check the “use by” date. It’s a recommendation that all N95 masks be disposed of after the stated use-by date. Always take note too that masks even within the shelf life need to be disposed of if damaged or with missing parts.
Fo other N95 masks that have established shelf life but which packaging is not marked with a “use by” date, they should no longer be used if 5 years have passed since the date of its manufacture.
How about if the N95 mask is not marked with any shelf life information, how can I determine the age of the mask?
If you encounter an N95 mask without a shelf life advisory or information, check the date of manufacture so you can determine until when it’s efficient and okay to b used.
Should any N95 mask be disposed of after the shelf life has expired?
Yes, by all means, it should be disposed of after the stated use-by date has expired.
Why do N95 masks have a shelf life and expiry date?
Each NIOSH-certified N95 mask should be used and maintained in accordance with the individual manufacturer-provided user instructions and guidance. If a manufacturer of a NIOSH-certified mask indicates an expiration date, shelf life, or “use by” then it follows that the mask should not be expected to provide the expected level of protection after the indicated date. It’s also after the date indicated that it’s no longer considered a NIOSH-certified mask. It’s being certified also expires as soon as it’s past due its shelf life.
There could be a lot of factors why an N95 mask has an expiration and it could be due to the materials and the parts used in the device, to the handling of the products within warehouses and to environmental conditions during storage such as temperature and humidity.
Manufacturers put a use-by or expiration date because they take into account and consideration the filter media as well as the other parts of the mask such as the straps, nose form and nose clips. They want to guarantee all these to be in perfect condition and can give maximum effectivity within the shelf life of the mask.
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