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Best Face Masks for Bacteria and Virus

Best Face Masks for Bacteria and Virus

Every time there is a disease outbreak, we get questions about masks. Most of our dust and pollen masks are great for stopping dust mites, mold spores, and pollens. In the world of microscopic items, these are pretty large. But bacteria and viruses are very small. Dust and pollen masks should not be used for protection again bacteria and viruses. The best mask for bacteria and virus protection is an N95 or N99.

Bacteria and Virus Mask Differences


The term “N95” and “N99” refers to a standard established by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). This is a subset of the US Center for Disease Control. The standards refer to protection for the wearer of the mask and not the people around the wearer. By contrast, a “surgical” mask simply protects the patient from aerosol contamination from a healthcare worker and has a much lower standard.

Oil Resistance. N95 and N99 are not resistant to oil. These means they will not protect against particles suspended or mixed with an oil-based substance. For example, they would not protect against the spray from oil-based paint.

Particle Protection. N95 masks protect against 95% of airborne particles. N99 masks protect against 99% of airborne particles. The efficiency doesn’t refer to the particle size, it refers to the amount of leakage. So the N95 mask has slightly more leakage than the N99 mask. The testing is done with 200 mg of sodium chloride, as described in this CDC publication. The 3M N100 respirator has 99.97% leakage and provides the highest level of protection, virtually leak-proof.

Mask Characteristics


N95 - These masks fit over the ears and cover the nose and mouth. Before donning the mask, you create a pocket, don the mask, and then adjust. The N95 Alpha Mask does not have an exhalation valve. It is light-weight and disposable. This mask has been used also known as the “Bird Flu” mask the “Swine Flu” mask the “H1N1” mask and the “SARS” mask. As you can tell from its many names, this mask has been used for protection from a variety of masks. NIOSH does not provide a product life guideline. The N95 face mask may be worn until damaged by liquid or soil. It is perfect for:


> Traveling by plane, train, or mass transit when you wish to avoid airborne diseases
> Dusting and light house cleaning
> Yardwork
> Hobbies, excluding the use of oil-based aerosols


N99 CV - This mask is a new addition to the Vogmask line. It provides N99 protection and includes a carbon layer and an exhale valve. While the carbon will reduce nuisance odors, this mask is not approved for oil-based chemicals or aerosol particles. Like the N95 mask, NIOSH does not provide a lifetime for the product. While it may be used until soiled or damages, all Vogmask N99 face masks are disposable.

N100 Mask - The 3M N100 mask contains an exhale valve which reduces the amount of moisture that can collect under the mask. This makes is well suited for working in hot or humid environments. Like the N95 and N99 masks, NIOSH does not provide product lifetime guidelines for these masks but suggests that they are discarded when they have reached the capacity of 200 mg.

The best protection from airborne illness such as those caused by bacteria, influenza virus and other viruses is to avoid contact. A disease is also spread by contact with contaminated objects or body fluids. No mask will protect you from these contaminants.

Pollen and Dust Masks


While not suitable for protection against biological contamination, the Q-Mask and U2 SportMask are great for bike riding, housework, or other applications where the main contaminants are dust, molds, and pollens.

Wishing you the best of health

Allergy elimination is about eliminating the allergy-causing substance in your home the best you can. Once you do this, you may be able to eliminate the need for all the medications and doctor visits. For additional information please click here to download your free copy of" You Can Do It! Allergy Free Living. 


Helpful Products

Mu2 Sport Mask

N99 Vogmask

N95 Bird Flu Mask

3M N100 Face Mask

QMask Dust & Pollen

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