What information do you have on N95 respirators versus KN95 masks?
Surgical N95 respirators and contractor-grade N95 respirators (NIOSH certified) are the preferred mask for those individuals working with COVID-19 patients. These respirators (also referred to as N95 “masks”) had been in very short supply due to the global nature of the pandemic.
KN95s were temporarily authorized by the FDA for use by medical workers during the pandemic in response to severe nationwide shortages of N95 respirators. Now that sufficient supply of N95s exists and accessibility has improved, KN95 masks have now been removed from the EUA list.
KN95 masks are manufactured to the Chinese standard GB2626. These masks have some similar performance characteristics to N95 respirators but are different from FDA-cleared surgical N95 respirators and NIOSH-approved N95 respirators.
Important: In some instances, KN95 manufacturers may label their product as not for healthcare use in order to meet Chinese export restrictions. Be sure to confirm certification statuses on the website of the regulatory association.