N95 facial hair
Background: OSHA regulations state that an employer shall not permit tight-fitting respirators to be worn by employees who have facial hair that comes between the skin and facepiece seal. Studies have shown that facial hair in the face seal zone can increase penetration and decrease the fit factor FF , although the relationship between the amount and characteristics of facial hair and the increase in penetration is not well quantified. This article examines the influence of facial hair length, areal density, and coarseness on FF for one model of half-face elastomeric negative-pressure air purifying respirator. Three fit tests were performed at each of the 5 lengths, for total tests. The average diameter and areal density of cheek and chin hair were measured. Penetration was modeled as a function of hair length category, beard areal density, and hair coarseness.
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Facial hair and N95 masks: What you need to know
Fact or Myth: Facial Hair and COVID
This blog and infographic from are intended for workers who wear respirators at work. The month of November is full of fun, interesting, and thought-provoking observances. November is also the host month to campaigns like No-Shave November and Movember. Campaigns such as these are working hard to raise money for important causes such as cancer research, education, and awareness. These increasingly popular campaigns are a great way to demonstrate your support … unless you need to wear a tight-fitting respirator for your job.
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To Beard or not to Beard? That’s a good Question!
As you probably know, some people have had the same facial hairstyle for years. This makes a morning shave feel much more significant than their everyday routine. For others, a beard holds religious significance and symbolizes tightly held beliefs. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that everyone wear a cloth face covering when in areas that make social distancing difficult like at the grocery store or pharmacy.
Together with disinfection and hand-washing, N95 respirators have proven to reduce the infectious risk of COVID in doctors and nurses. In order to wear an N95 respirator effectively, achieving an adequate seal is essential. United States regulations mandate that health care workers get fit-tested every year, a process that involves spraying foul-tasting fumes around a person's head to see if the mask successfully blocks particles from entering the nose and mouth. That means anyone who plans to wear an N95 mask would need to shave their beards to ensure a good fit.
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