Where I buy N95 masks in USA 

I see folks paralyzed by fear and confusion about whether to buy or wear N95 masks. I've been sharing my favorite one


plus this chart via

wsj.com/articles/cloth-face-ma (free link)

with some notes:

1. Grainger is a well-known lab supplier.

2. Moldex makes masks for both industrial and medical use and these are the former: construction, paint, etc. But they meet the N95 spec.

3. These have latex, so look for another if you have an allergy.

Where I buy N95 masks in USA 

4. Size is medium/large: good for folks with average faces. One person in my household can fit a "small" size (grainger.com/product/1DLL6) but two others don't fit any size (M, S, XS).

5. The ones linked upthread have a great clasp to tighten and loosen the fit. It works great and easily and conveniently create a skintight seal that don't fog my glasses.

6. You have to learn to take deep breaths (clear the CO2 from previous exhale before getting fresh filtered air).

Where I buy N95 masks in USA 

7. I see idiots wailing that all N95 are single-use, with static charge that evaporates after one use. Not true. Moldex says, "For industrial uses, respirators are permitted for extended use… and SHOULD BE DISCARDED WHEN THE RESPIRATOR HAS BEEN SOILED, DAMAGED OR HAS INCREASED BREATHING RESISTANCE" moldex.com/wp-content/uploads/ (caps mine, and the two links upthread are to "disposable respirators").

I wear one for a couple of weeks, taking it off and putting it daily.

Where I buy N95 masks in USA 

8. Moldex is made-in-America. Between them and Grainger (also an American supplier), I have high confidence that their supply chains are well-monitored and I'm not getting fakes.

9. Thanks @wim_v12e for this: "Do not combine a KN95 mask with any other masks" cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/ (updated Apr 4 2021): no N95+surgical mask.

Hopefully this has been a facts-oriented, low-opinion thread that helped some USA readers order and start using some quality N95 gear. Lmk!


re: Where I buy N95 masks in USA 

10. I needed to be in an office 8+ hours daily for several weeks. My favorite Moldex above 👆 work very well for wearing all day in general (travel, sightseeing, working around the house) but seemed to get uncomfortable around my nose bridge and glasses while sitting and staring at a screen?

So I was happy to discover that these flat-fold duck 🦆 masks by Kimberly-Clark, also sold by Grainger, also made in USA, are extremely comfortable for wearing for several hours straight:
grainger.com/product/KLEENGUAR I recommend these for office work. Some notes/caveats:

- unlike the Moldex, these don’t have a Latex skintight seal, but the polypropylene material made an almost-as-good seal on my skin.
- I need to adjust the molded metal nose bridge every few hours (which isn’t a concern with the Moldex from upthread) but there was very little glasses fogging.
- I put these in the recycle bin after 2-3 days because the headband is this felt-like material that loses strength by then. (I wear the Moldex for 2-4 weeks.)

The best solution of course is to avoid working in poorly-ventilated indoor spaces but since commercial real estate will likely not be updated in our lifetimes, learning to wear a well-fitting N95 mask (and concomitant skills like learning to take breaks outdoors, breathing slowly and deeply, speaking loudly and enunciating clearly) is obviously still the best alternative.

Lots of folks around me are getting sick going into the office maskless (🤯 as coworker explaining that a team can’t answer our questions because they got hit hard by Covid, as they’re maskless in an old unventilated office with uncertain HEPA filtration systems) but hopefully the links and tips above will help keep you healthy and comfortable.

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