Due to the shortage of N95 masks for healthcare workers and first responders, the governor’s task force and OSDH have teamed up to provide accountable exceptions. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has authorized the use of KN95 masks in place of N95 masks for the response to COVID19.
An N95 mask is a filtering facepiece respirator (FFR). The Federal Code of Regulations defines a FFR to be a negative pressure particulate respirator with a filter as an integral part of the facepiece or with the entire facepiece composed of the filtering medium. An N95 means the mask has been rated to filter at least 95 percent of airborne particles it encounters. The masks have also been manufactured to form a seal on the wearers face. They can be referenced as a disposable respirator, dust mask, N95, KN95, FFR, etc.
The difference between an N95 and a KN95 mask is where the mask is certified. Much like other industries, respirators/masks have different approval sources and names.
- Australia/New Zealand- P2
- Brazil- P2
- China- KN95, KP95
- Japan-DS2, DL2
- India-BIS P2
- Korea- 1st class
- US- NIOSH N95, R95, P95
The world is facing a PPE shortage; Chinas’ KN95 are what is available. The CDC and NIOSH as well as the Oklahoma Commissioner of Health have authorized the substitution of KN95’s. Along with the permission, we wanted further peace of mind that what we were distributing was reliable for our health care workers and first responders. Dr. Johnson and Floyd from the OU college of Public Health have performed a filtering test on a sample of each mask we have received that is not NIOSH approved. If they do not measure up to the minimum filtration standards, we do not distribute them.