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Does PM2.5 equal N95?

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Particulate matter (PM2.5) refers to particles in the air that cause pollution. These particles are from a variety of sources, both indoors and outdoors.

Even at moderate levels, it can still be harmful to sensitive people and the use of a pollution mask is recommended.

Though the atmosphere will always have PM2.5, certain levels are dangerously high.

The ‚Äė2.5‚Äô in PM 2.5 refers to the size of the pollutant in micrometers. Additionally, particulate pollutants vary in size and the smaller they are, the more damage they cause to your health. PM10 is particulates that have a diameter of 10 micrometers or less. Dust particles are the main source of PM10.

Meanwhile, PM 2.5 is particulates that have a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or smaller. These particles are so small that they can only be viewed under a microscope. Therefore, their small size makes them much deadlier than PM10.

An N95 mask or N95 respirator is a particulate-filtering face piece respirator that meets the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) N95 classification of air filtration, meaning that it filters at least 95% of airborne particles. This standard does not require that the respirator be resistant to oil; another standard, P95, adds that requirement. The N95 type is the most common particulate-filtering face piece respirator. It is an example of a mechanical filter respirator, which provides protection against particulates but not against gases or vapors.

PM2.5 masks can protect against gases and vapors and are therefore different than N95 masks.


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