Table of Contents
ProjectN95: Trusted. Transparent. Tested.
Project N95, in their own words, is “a national non-profit organization working to protect people and their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. ProjectN95 provides access to Equitable, affordable, authentic N95 respirators, KN95 and KF94 masks, kids masks, COVID-19 tests, and other products.”
The organization is diligently working to educate and distribute products that have been rigorously vetted to keep the public safe. They have led the charge in advocating for safe, NIOSH-approved N95 face masks or face respirators. They also provide the public with a list of ProjectN95-approved masks. If a mask/company is listed on the N95 site, it is a mask approved and vetted by the ProjectN95 organization.
ProjectN95 also provides COVID-19 tests and donated PPEs throughout the country. “They have donated and provided more than 2 million items including N95 respirators, surgical masks, and gloves throughout the US to communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic.”
ProjectN95 uses the tagline ‘Trusted, Transparent, Tested,’ which is true! I know this because I have watched the Strapless N95 NIOSH-approved mask Alliant Biotech sells go through this vetting process. It has been a long journey with months of documents submitted, applications filled out, and conversations. Still, we are excited to announce that ProjectN95 has approved Alliant Biotech, a part of Alliant Enterprises as an N95-approved vendor. Our commitment to the safety of our communities and clients is our priority, and we are excited to have this critical certification finally. The ProjectN95 approval will help our customers feel safe and protected.
The N95 strapless mask Alliant Biotech offers stands out from the other ProjectN95 respirators.
The Strapless N95 mask we offer is incredibly comfortable, latex-free, metal-free, and strap-free. The Strapless N95 Respirator listed on our site is one of few NIOSH-approved and ProjectN95-approved N95 respirators without a metal nose clip, making it suitable for MRI and other imaging procedures.
The hypo-allergenic medical-grade adhesive seal is a comfortable alternative to traditional N95 masks that rely on tight pressure seals to be effective, leaving skin abrasions and pressure sores. The adhesive application also helps to prevent soiling due to perpetual re-adjustments. The seal is so effective that it makes the mask virtually fogless with no gapping yet forms a roomy pocket of air to make it highly breathable. The Strapless N95-NIOSH-approved, ProjectN95-approved respirator is one of the only masks on the market today with NO straps. This mask is unique, which is why we are so excited to be one of the verified N95 mask providers on ProjectN95.
Face masks and respirators. Should you wear one?
There has been a lot of debate in previous years about wearing a face mask or personal protective equipment (PPE). Before the outbreak of SARS-CoV-1, you would be hard-pressed to see people wearing face masks in public. Back then, I assumed that anyone wearing a mask was probably dealing with a long-term illness and needed it to protect themselves. It never occurred to me that I should wear a mask in public to keep the flu and cold bugs away…until COVID-19 took over our nation…
The recent pandemic has changed personal protective equipment beliefs, habits, and behaviors. Wearing a face mask had become prevalent. As restrictions and guidelines were put into place regarding face masks, we became more accustomed to wearing and seeing them.
“The wearing of non-medical face masks in public to lessen the transmission of COVID-19 in the United States was first recommended by the CDC on April 3, 2020, as supplemental to hygiene and appropriate social distancing.”
Even after all the guidelines and restrictions regarding social distancing and face mask recommendations have been lifted throughout the US, we are still seeing many people wearing face masks in social settings. I am not sick and do not have a long-term health issue, but I am wearing a mask in large public venues or when I am in contact with numerous people just to be safe. Looking back, wearing a mask and using hand sanitizer regularly during the pandemic kept me from catching a cold. Like many, I’ve gotten out of the practice of wearing a mask in public. Recently, I had cold symptoms. I went to work but wore a mask all day in my office to protect my colleagues. For this very reason, many of us have adopted facemasks in our daily lives and are using them regularly to stay healthy from transmittable airborne illness. There’s a gentleman I work with who has been donning a mask in public and the office more recently – not because he is immunocompromised, but because he’s preparing for his wedding in a week and doesn’t want to risk missing it!
Not all face masks are created equal.
Masks are here to stay, and even though you may choose not to use them daily, it is still important to find a mask you prefer that can protect you in certain situations. Environments with denser populations can still put us at risk. Wearing a mask is probably a wise move in this case. Some areas that would be beneficial to wear a mask include:
- Doctors’ & medical offices
- Educational events
- Social gatherings inside
- Indoor sporting events
- Wedding & funerals
- Any place where there are many people gathered
Finding a mask that is trusted, comfortable, or at least tolerable is becoming necessary. The need to protect ourselves is not going away. Changing behaviors to prevent illness, hospitalizations, and even death is nothing new; we should learn and adapt.
“Past pandemics have led to massive changes in how we live that we’ve come to accept as normal. Screens on our doors and windows helped keep out mosquitos that carried yellow fever and malaria. Sewer systems and access to clean water helped eliminate typhoid and cholera epidemics. Perhaps the lessons learned from COVID-19 regarding disease prevention can yield similar long-term improvements in individual and global health.”
Knowing which masks are more protective, vetted, and approved is essential. Having a supply of masks on hand will forever be the new “norm” as we continue to see new variants in the coming years. Preparation can provide peace of mind.
KN95s, N95s, and fake face masks
There are some key things to know before looking for a mask you can trust. Many individuals are still not wearing an N95 mask and are unclear about the differences and benefits of N95s and KN95s. The N95 mask is more effective at preventing airborne pathogens and is the gold standard in personal protection. Let’s take a look at the differences.
The N95 Face Respirator
“The N95 mask also called an N95 filtering facepiece respirator, is designed to fit closely to your face, providing an efficient barrier to filter out airborne particles. Many people do not realize that these types of surgical or face masks are regulated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).”
The KN95 Face Respirator
“The certification process is the biggest difference between N95 and KN95 respirators. The KN95 face masks are manufactured and tested in China, which has a different regulatory body that doesn’t align with NIOSH standards… In contrast, N95 masks are tested and regulated in the USA. It is important to note that KN95 masks are designed and manufactured to have the same protective properties as N95 face masks. However, these masks may or may not meet the NIOSH standards. It is important to note that the CDC tested some of these masks and did not meet the same standards that NIOSH requires. Counterfeit KN95s have also infiltrated our country. The CDC has a handy resource to spot fakes.”
The manufacturing, marketing, and distributing of fake NIOSH-approved N95 masks are prevalent in today’s market. This has made it incredibly difficult to determine which mask is safe and which companies can be trusted! Below are a few examples from the CDC website of fakes. They are linked back to the CDC article for more information. ProjectN95
Mask Marketing Stopped by Google’s Red Tape.
To further complicate the situation since August 2021, with the overwhelming influx of fake N95s and KN95s, Google shut down all advertising campaigns for N95 and KN95 respirators. The only face masks that are being advertised on Google are PPEs that have been approved by ProjectN95.
“N95 respirators and surgical masks are examples of personal protective equipment used to protect the wearer from particles or liquid contaminating the face. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) also regulate N95 respirators.”
Amazon, Facebook, and Google have all independently banned or severely limited the sale of N95 respirator masks since April 2020. If you search for “N95” on Amazon, you’ll receive a list of inferior KN95 masks. Customers who find N95 masks for sale often see substantial price markups and product restrictions that have been “prioritized for organizations on the front lines responding to COVID-19.” These specific masks are primarily sold directly from the manufacturer.
An Amazon spokesperson told us over email that “Last year, when the demand far outweighed the supply for certain PPE items like N95 masks, Amazon listened to our healthcare and government customers on the front lines of the pandemic and prioritized this type of PPE inventory for them, to meet their urgent need…”
The employee went on to tell us that “Since then, we have continually monitored inventory of these supplies to be able to meet the needs of all customers—we currently offer a significant number of N95 masks to consumers and will continue making more available, while also ensuring we have supply available for healthcare workers.”
Even with some new leniency for N95 mask sales on Amazon, even their e-commerce platform isn’t suited to help a consumer decide what the right mask – especially if you are looking for a specific need is. For instance, finding a mask suitable for medical imaging/radiology can be complex. You would be hard-pressed to find an N95 respirator without a metal nose clip on Amazon.
Fortunately, Project N95 has been chosen as the leading authority on verifying KN95 and N95 masks, and their e-commerce platform’s filters could rival Zappos.