Lab Tests Show that Some N95 Respirators Are Fluid-Resistant

In addition to protecting against inhalation of harmful airborne particles,
sample units from four models of N95 filtering-facepiece respirators (FFRs)
were found to be resistant to fluid penetration by synthetic blood in
laboratory tests by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
(NIOSH) and an independent testing laboratory. These findings indicate that the
NIOSH-approved FFRs likely would meet fluid-resistance requirements that the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets for medical masks and surgical N95
respirators. Ultimately, that could increase the supply of respirators for
healthcare workers who need protection from occupational exposure to sprays and
splashes of blood and other potentially infectious body fluids in public health
emergencies like large-scale flu outbreaks.

To mimic workplace conditions, researchers at NIOSH and Nelson Laboratory, in
Salt Lake City, UT, used a special type of equipment that sprays synthetic
blood at speeds matching those of blood sprayed during a medical procedure.
They tested six NIOSH-approved N95 FFR models and five models of medical masks
and surgical N95 respirators and found that four of the six NIOSH-approved
models of N95 respirators were resistant to the synthetic blood. If larger
studies can confirm these findings, the next step is to test whether the
devices meet other FDA requirements, such as being fireproof, for medical masks
and surgical N95 respirators.

More information - Source: Centre for Occupational Health and Safety