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How many times can I reuse my N95 mask before throwing it away?

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How many times can I reuse my N95 mask before throwing it away?

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According to an expert, the length of time it is worn is more important than the number of times.

How many times can I reuse my N95 mask? (AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin) The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — How many times can I reuse my N95 mask?

It depends, but you should be able to use both N95s and KN95s multiple times.

The US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention says healthcare workers can wear an N95 mask up to five times. But experts say how often the average person can safely wear one varies depending on how it’s used.

Using the same mask to run to the grocery store, for example, is very different from wearing it all day at work.

How long a mask is worn is more important than how often it’s worn, says Richard Flagan, who studies masks and aerosols at the California Institute of Technology.

In general, he recommends limiting the use of an N95 mask to around two or three days.

With every breath you take into an N95, particles build up on the mask, Flagan says. This could make it harder to breathe if the mask has trapped a lot of particles.

“They degrade mask performance,” Flagan says.

The elastic band of the mask could also wear out and not fit your face snugly. It can also get dirty or wet, especially if you use it while exercising.

If you notice any of these changes in your mask, it’s time to stop using it, even if you’ve only been using it for a few hours. And since N95 masks can’t be washed, they should be thrown away once you can’t use them anymore.



How many times can I reuse my N95 mask before throwing it away?

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