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P100 / N100 Particulate Respirator the Smart Move for Coronavirus — not the Useless Leaky Masks That People are Seen Wearing in the News

I’ve written numerous times about N100/P100 particulate respirators.

In spite of a very strong immune system, I suspect that a virus like coronavirus could kill me—I have lungs with scar tissue from three past pneumonia episodes that viruses invariably gravivitate to and party-on.

I take coronavirus very, very seriously. You should too.

Johhs Hopkins visualizer for 2019-nCoV

3M N100 Particulate Respirator

Don’t bother with the idiotic masks you see in the news—these have no sealing and are almost purely psychological in their benefit—leaky like a sieve in terms of air filtration. Sure, they might protect against disgusting direct impact yuk droplets from an ahole coughing in your face, but that’s about it.

Surgical masks are just about worthless : “SM may not be able to provide substantial protection against aerosol particles at least up to ∼500 nm at any relevant combination of the breathing frequency and flow rate”.

You want a 3M 8233 N100 Disposable Respirator (the 3M 3M 8293 P100 is equivalent) to have on hand, RIGHT NOW. Get the N100, NOT the N95—why f* around with potential deadly threats? An N95 mask filters 20X less particulate matter— a joke compared to N100, though way better than nothing. And when you see the difference in the fabric and sealing... if you’re going to bother, don’t take a slingshot to a gunfight.

DO NOT wait until a pandemic hits (it might) when they will be unobtainable. Or when Coronavirus mutates and the mortality rate rises tenfold (quite possible). Can Coronavirus swap genes with influenza and then what?

Can P100 / N100 Particulate Respirator masks be effective against airborne viruses? The NIH states:

The growing threat of an influenza pandemic presents a unique challenge to healthcare workers, emergency responders, and the civilian population. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-approved respirators to provide protection against infectious airborne viruses in various workplace settings. The filtration efficiency of selected NIOSH-approved particulate N95 and P100 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) and filter cartridges was investigated against the viable MS2 virus, a non-pathogenic bacteriophage, aerosolized from a liquid suspension. Tests were performed under two cyclic flow conditions (minute volumes of 85 and 135 L/min) and two constant flow rates (85 and 270 L/min). The mean penetrations of viable MS2 through the N95 and P100 FFRs/cartridges were typically less than 2 and 0.03%, respectively, under all flow conditions. All N95 and P100 FFR and cartridge models assessed in this study, therefore, met or exceeded their respective efficiency ratings of 95 and 99.97% against the viable MS2 test aerosol, even under the very high flow conditions. These NIOSH-approved FFRs and particulate respirators equipped with these cartridges can be anticipated to achieve expected levels of protection (consistent with their assigned protection factor) against airborne viral agents, provided that they are properly selected, fitted, worn, and maintained.

Note the “consistent with their assigned protection factor” parenthetical: do you really want 20X less filtration with an N95 (95%) versus an N100 (99.75%)?

The Chinese government might someday manage, with its supression of bad news, to kill most of us by allowing pandemics to spread because sooner or later something with a very high mortality rate will appear that makes the yearly flu look like a fart and kill a billion people (the influenza of 1918 killed about 50 to 100 million people when the world population was far less). Along with rampant intellectual property theft, modern-day WW2-style ChinNazi concentration camps for the Uighers, human organ harvesting on demand, and killing 50K Americans a year with Chinese Fentantyl, it would already be the time to decouple completely from China... and now China gives us one more gift: Coronavirus.

The US government is next-stupidest and nearly as incompetent, still allowing travel from China. It’s spreading rapidly, it’s deadly and all these dumb-fucks in our government are masturbating on impeachment while still letting people travel here from China. A deadly virus with a multi-week incubation period is not being taken seriously enough to shut off ALL non-critical travel (infected persons can transmit the virus for an extended period without being overtly sick). And it’s flu season and it is not obvious if someone has a cold virus, influenza, or Coronavirus. And it could well mutate and become more deadly! It is unbelievable that the jackass President and jackass Congress and everyone in Washington (either party) sits around with their thumbs up their asses not shutting off travel to/from China. That is not a partisan political comment but an expression of disgust and disbelief—both sides are putting lives on the line.

Below, a rerun of a post I wrote back in 2018, where smoke was the issue.

David C writes:

The 1918 flu virus pandemic killed between 50 and 100 million worldwide as per  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu.

We tend to ignore the flu because it happens every year, however it is estimated to have killed over 8,000 in the US alone in the current flu season.  The flu virus is very ingenious in the ways in which it changes, quite something for a particle that technically isn’t even alive.  This is not to minimize the potential for 2019 nCoV, any novel virus has the potential to cause a global disaster, especially now that air travel is common.

DIGLLOYD: air travel will spread a killer virus 1000 times faster today than in 1918, at least.

Gary J writes:

Thanks for your tip.

early died from respiratory infection 4 years ago. Hacking cough for 24 days turned into pneumonia. Septuagenarian. Still have black spot on one lung. Got after spending a day in Natural History museum with 1,000+ elementary kids. Avoid people now.

Medical journals note many exotic diseases immigrating now.  Virtually no coverage in mainstream media.

DIGLLOYD: indeed, even MDs are clueless—I see articles in which NO MENTION is made of N100/P100 or its efficacy. For example, just today I saw well-known doctor Dr. Oz stating that surgical masks don't work (which is true)—but no advice on what does work! For a doctor to deliver half-advice— telling someone what does not work —while failing to say what does work—that’s incompetent to the point of malpractice since few people will pursue the matter, and will instead conclude “masks don’t work”. What a public service DISASTER.

Don H writes:

Regarding dust masks, I have settled on a 3M multipurpose (non-disposible) respirator similar to this: 3M 62023HA1-C Professional Multi-Purpose Respirator.

It’s heavier than a disposable mask, certainly, but breathing is easier because the exhale valve is larger. For me it also seals against one's face better and doesn’t fog up glasses.

There are a variety of filters available, including general-purpose P100s. They attach and detach with a quarter turn.

I got the mask at Lowes (they’re obviously available elsewhere, including through Amazon as the link above shows). I’m allergic to dust, which is a big problem when working with wood, grinding metal, etc., and after trying various disposable masks I bought this style because I could never get those to fit tightly and I found them difficult to breath through.

I don’t know if the added weight would be an issue for cycling, but I suspect it could be worth it for the improved airflow. As for looks, when everyone else was walking around in public with the chintzy one-layer dust masks during the wildfires I felt like a boss with this thing strapped to my face. I was tempted to start talking like Bane from the Batman movie but couldn’t really pull that off.

DIGLLOYD: the advantage of such a dedicated respirator is clear: more adjustable, replaceable filters and sizing options. Having a dedicated mask as well as disposable N100 masks is a smart move.

I have not had issues breathing with the 3M N100 or P100 masks except that under extreme volume flows, I can collapse the mask when breathing in fast and hard under heavy exertion at altitude.

Cycling and other use cases including sunglasses and helmet add constraints for size/weight/stowage/fit (e.g., sraps under helmet might be a problem, pulling it away to eat/drink) as well as heat/moisture/etc.

Also, while the mask referenced above looks superb as to its function, it is not very socially acceptable, its “apocolypse” style drawing unwanted attention.

I have used the disposable N100 masks as far as 70 miles or so during double centuries. It becomes a problem in heat over 80°F and at altitude my large-volume lungs start to collapse the mask at elevation of 7000' and above when I am working hard at lactate threshold (92% of max HR).

* Can’t take any credit for it (genetics), but my lungs are 25% larger in volume than “normal” for my height, perhaps why I have a a VO2 Max in the 99.9th percentile and why I have no issue at altitudes up to 14500 feet with just one day of acclimatizing to altitude.

....

N100 / P100 particulate respirator for smoke and airborne pollutants

I wrote about the health hazards of some in P100 / N100 Particulate Respirator Works for Smoke back in July.

The past two day has shown the worst air quality I have ever seen, apparently as bad as in Beijing, due to the Camp Fire, the most destructive fire in California history. Speaking for myself, it’s the worst I have ever breathed in my entire life and that fire is hundreds of miles away.

Cycling using 3M Respirator N100

I reiterate my warning about the health hazards of smoke, but this smoke is especially pernicious—even an N100 face mask which eliminates 99.75% of particulates down to 2.5 microns cannot take out an apparently nasty chemical content that irritates my nose and throat. For most people, a 3M particulate respirator N95 is better, more comfortable over time, though it is 10X less effective, it is a 20X improvement over no mask.

Dr. John Balmes, who studies air pollutants and their effects on respiratory health at UCSF, said the bad air puts everyone’s health at risk, but especially those with heart and lung diseases. Children also have increased risks because they breathe more rapidly than adults, leading to higher exposure to the polluted air, he said.

The tiny particles in wood smoke are what make it especially dangerous, Balmes said.

“Those fine particles can make it down into the deep lung and they can cause harm to people with pre-existing heart and lung disease, people with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,” he said. “Those conditions are exacerbated by air pollution like this.” Ace Hardware manager, Art Grassi, discusses respirator masks. Video: San Francisco Chronicle If going outside can’t be avoided, N95 respiratory masks offer some protection, Balmes said. The name comes from the fact that the masks can filter out 95 percent of the fine particles in wood smoke.

The air quality index, a number that measures air pollutants, hovered between 105 and 152 around the Bay Area on Friday. A healthy level is 50 or lower. By contrast, in Beijing, one of the world’s worst places for air pollution, the rating was 21 early Saturday.

I’ve done my 90-minute baseline ride for 4 days in a row now with an N100 and my lungs have not reacted at all in spite of high respiratory rate. My lungs are extremely sensitive to smoke. Athletes take in volumes of air 5X to 10X greater than when idle, yet public health officials don’t even mention that severe risk (see quote below)—what jackasses.

Proving that public health officials are a menace to public health, the understated idiocy of “considering” an N95 respirator makes it sound unimportant. An N95 respirator is way better than nothing, but 20X less effective than an N100 mask (99.75% down to 2.5 microns). An N95 mask is not adequate under current conditions. Fine particles can accumulate in the body to cause persistent coughing, difficulty breathing and reductions in lung function. I can attest that such impairment doesn’t go away quickly—I suffered for a month last summer after exposure I should have avoided.

People going outside should consider [diglloyd: WTF?] wearing N95 masks, which filter out 95 percent of the fine wood particles in the smoky air. The masks are available for purchase at any hardware store. Daly City and South San Francisco officials are handing out masks to residents at government buildings.

Update: the next day Nov 10 I did go for a ride using an N100 face mask as the air had improved to just plain bad. It was as effective as I had found it to be with pollen and smoke and dust in the past: not even a hint of bronchospasms or coughing or other issues.

Orange sun, smoky irs, birds
f2.8 @ 1/490 sec, ISO 20; 2018-11-10 17:13:14
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 6.6 mm f/2.8
ENV: Cañada Road, altitude 328 ft / 100 m, 52°F / 11°C

[low-res image for bot]
Cycling using 3M Respirator N100
f1.8 @ 1/270 sec, ISO 20; 2018-11-10 17:27:41
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8
ENV: Cañada Rd near Hwy 92, altitude 356 ft / 109 m, 50°F / 10°C
selfie, heavy smoke from 'Camp' fire

[low-res image for bot]
Extreme smoke from the 'Camp Fire' over Highway 101
f1.8 @ 1/490 sec, ISO 20; 2018-11-09 17:04:37
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8 ENV: altitude 2 ft / 1 m

[low-res image for bot]

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