Health Canada has expanded equivalent alternate standards for N95 Masks
Health Canada has expanded equivalent alternate standards including non-medical N95 respirators, commercial-grade N95 respirators, and respirators approved under standards used in other countries that are similar to NIOSH-approved N95 respirators.
See: Government of Canada, Optimizing the use of masks and respirators during the COVID-19 outbreak, canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/medical-devices/masks-respirators-covid19.html#a4
Ministerial Order 2020-2021 in effect during the State of Public Health Emergency
The kinds of masks dentists may use in Alberta have expanded because of a May 3, 2020 Order from the Alberta Minister of Labour and Immigration (MO Order 2020-2021). The masks listed above and referenced in the MO Order 2020-2021 meet the Health Canada interim order. This Ministerial Order 2020-2021 is in effect for a very specific time period in relation to the State of Public Health Emergency.
Level 3 Mask and Face Shield
There is evidence a Level 3 mask with a face shield is equivalent to a fitted N95 mask.
See: Radonovich LJ Jr, Simberkoff MS, Bessesen MT, Brown AC, Cummings DAT, Gaydos CA, Los JG, Krosche AE, Gibert CL, Gorse GJ, Nyquist
AC, Reich NG, Rodriguez-Barradas MC, Price CS, Perl TM. N95 Respirators vs Medical Masks for Preventing Influenza Among Health Care
Personnel: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2019 Sep 3;322(9):824-833. doi: 10.1001/jama.2019.11645.
Counterfeit masks/respirators are an increasing problem. For information on verifying the authenticity of a mask, see: cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/usernotices/counterfeitResp.html
Recall of KN95 Respirators
Yesterday, the US Center for Disease Control shared a list identifying manufacturers of KN95 respirators that have been tested by the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL). Some passed, but many did not.
Certain filtering facepiece respirators may not provide consistent and adequate respiratory protection based on testing conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) – National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Any respirator that does not meet a minimum 95 per cent filtration efficiency is defective and does not meet NIOSH requirements. If you have respirators that do not meet performance standards they can still be used in settings where 95 per cent filtration is not needed.