What is the difference between a KN95 respirator and an N95 respirator?

N95 and KN95 masks are called Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFR) otherwise known as disposable respirators. While we constantly hear about N95 masks in the US, China makes use of an equivalent mask: the KN95 respirator. The CDC outlines a number of different masks from around the world that are deemed to be equivalent to the US standard N95 masks:


Country Performance standard Acceptable product classifications Standards / Guidance documents Protection Factor >= 10
Australia AS/NZS 1716:2012 P3, P2 AS/NZS 1715:2009 YES
Brazil ABNT/NBR 13698:2011 PFF3, PFF2 Fundacentro CDU 614.894 YES
China GB 2626-2006 KN100, KP100, KN95, KP95 GB/T 18664—2002 YES
Europe EN 149-2001 FFP3, FFP2 EN 529:2005 YES
Japan JMHLW-2000 DS/DL3, DS/DL2 JIS T8150: 2006 YES
Korea KMOEL-2017-64 Special, 1st KOSHA GUIDE H-82-2015 YES
Mexico NOM-116-2009 N100, P100, R100, N99, P99, R99, N95, P95, R95 NOM-116 YES
US NIOSH Requirements NIOSH approved, 42 CFR 84 N100, P100, R100, N99, P99, R99, N95, P95, R95 OSHA 29CFR1910.134 YES

The code GB2626-2006 is a standard designation that allows other countries to recognize that these masks have been tested to standards that are of "equivalent or similar protection to NIOSH-approved respirators" of the N95.

"These devices are expected to be suitable alternatives to provide protection during the COVID-19 response when supplies are short" - CDC

This empowers us to act quickly in order to meet demand in the face of diminishing supply during the COVID-19 outbreak.


Learn more from the CDC
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