During this Covid 19 Pandemic, it is very everyone's necessity and recommended to wear a face mask to protect oneself from the novel coronavirus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), World Health Organization(WHO), the government of every country, and public health officials recommend wearing good face masks to control the spread of the virus. There are many types of facemask/face coverings available in the market like bandanas/handkerchiefs, hand-sewn masks, and disposable medical masks but all these do not provide us safety for which purpose it is used. Much just use what is easily available to them looking at its cost, design, brand, style, etc but one should understand that not all the type of facemasks provide effective protection from peoples saliva/droplet spread from through coughs, sneezes, and conversation. Let me just give more detail about the N95 mask, The mask is called N95 for its filtering facepiece respirators capacity(air filtration) and is regulated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health(NIOSH). The N95 mask is effective in removing 95% of the pollutants and allergens from the air. Now if you want more details then:
N: The first letter is used for Respirator Rating Letter Class. In this case, the letter 'N' stands for "Non-Oil". It means that this mask can be used if no oil-based particulates are present in the work environment. The other lerrets used are 'P' for "Oil-Proof" and 'R' for "resistant to oil for 8 hours".
95: The numeric value gives the efficiency of the mask in filtering. Here 95 tells that the mask gives 95% efficiency by filtering particles from the air breathed in.
.3 microns/PM3: It gives the filtration capacity of the mask. In this case, the mask won't allow any particulates or large droplets to pass through the size of the mask. The mask will filter contaminants like dust, mists, and fumes, and anything above the minimum size of .3 microns.
Material: The material used for the filtration is what it depicts. Most of the N95 mask uses an electrostatic non-woven polypropylene fiber.
Type: There are many types available in the market like washable, reusable, non-washable, etc.
Valve: Using a constant mask or for long hours causes breathing problems for many. An exhalation valve helps to reduce the exhalation resistance and provides breathing easier for the user. This is optional and one can choose accordingly.
I hope, this will give you more clarity as to why the N95 mask is in demand and better as compared to other/normal masks.
“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in." — Morrie Schwartz