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Bird flu masks - NIOSH N99

NIOSH certified N99 respirators/masks are designed to help provide respiratory protection for the wearer. The N99 respirator/mask has a filter efficiency level of 99.9% or greater against particulate aerosols free of oil when tested against a 0.3 micron particle.

It is fluid resistant, disposable and may be worn in surgery. The "N" means "Not resistant to oil". The "99" refers to a 99% filter efficiency. N99 respirator/mask with an exhalation valve may be used by the Health Care Worker.

Patients, suspect or probable cases of bird flu should not wear an N99 mask with exhalation valve, as this valve could disseminate the virus into the environment.

The World Health Organisation has recommended the NIOSH 95 disposable respirator as being the minimum standard for those working within an infected environment. However the more powerful filtering capability of the NIOSH N99 mask makes it a better, if more costly option.

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