ASTM Class 2 masks and N95 masks are two different mask standards that differ in several ways. Here are the differences between them:
1. Filtration efficiency:
- ASTM Level 2 masks: The Level 2 mask standards set by ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) require that they have a particle filtration efficiency of at least 98% and can filter particles greater than or equal to 0.1 microns.
- N95 mask: N95 mask is a mask standard certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). It requires a particle filtration efficiency of at least 95% and can filter particles greater than or equal to 0.3 microns. Therefore, the filtering capacity of N95 masks is slightly higher than that of ASTM grade 2 masks.
2. Protection ability:
- ASTM Level 2 masks: ASTM Level 2 masks are usually used in clinical medical environments to provide a certain level of protection and are mainly used to physically block liquid splashes, blood and large particles.
- N95 masks: N95 masks are widely used in healthcare and industrial fields, with a higher level of protection. It not only blocks liquids and large particles, but also filters fine particles suspended in the air (such as bacteria, viruses, dust, etc.).
3. Air permeability and breathing resistance:
- ASTM Level 2 masks: Due to their lower filtration efficiency, ASTM Level 2 masks are relatively more breathable and have lower breathing resistance.
- N95 mask: Due to its high-efficiency filter layer, N95 mask has low air permeability, so the breathing resistance is relatively high. This is one of the reasons why N95 masks may cause greater discomfort to users when worn for a long time.
4. Certification and Standards:
- ASTM Level 2 masks: The ASTM Level 2 mask standard is set by ASTM International in the United States, so it is mainly applicable to the US market and related product certification.
- N95 masks: The standards and certification for N95 masks are developed and regulated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). N95 masks need to go through NIOSH's certification process to be labeled as compliant.
Overall, there are differences between ASTM Level 2 masks and N95 masks in terms of filtration efficiency, protective capabilities, breathability and standard certification. Depending on the use scenario and needs, choosing the appropriate mask type ensures the required level of protection and comfort. When selecting and using a mask, it is best to refer to local hygiene and protective guidance and ensure compliance with applicable standards and certification requirements.