N95 respirators must be fitted properly; University of Cincinnati scientist Sergey Grinshpun, PhD, has tested the effectiveness of face masks for nearly three decades.

HEALTH & SAFETY NEWS: Information from the desk of Cedric Ricks, Puplic Information Officer, University of Cincinnati

Story by Chuck Gibson

CINCINNATI, OH – Concerns are growing all around the globe, across the nation, and here at home about the potential spread of the Coronavirus. 

Sergey A. Grinshpun, PhD, professor of Environment Health, with a N95 respirator face mask in his lab at the University of Cincinnati Center for Health Related Aerolsol Studies. (Provided) 

University of Cincinnati scientist Sergey Grinshpun, PhD,  is director of the UC Center for Health Related Aerosol Studies. After nearly three decades of testing the performance of respiratory protective devices against biological agents, Grinshpun has a unique expertise in the protective qualities of face masks. 

In the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak, which began in China and has spread rapidly, Grinshpun has been called upon for his particular expertise in the effectiveness of face masks versus particulate respirators. 

“When some major outbreak happens such as one with coronavirus or SARS or Ebola, there is a lot of misinformation,” says Grinshpun, also a professor in the UC College of Medicine. “This relates to respiratory protection 

devices and what device to wear and also what protection level or efficiency you are paying for. People want to have something very light and comfortable, and they usually don’t like military style full-style respiratory systems to carry around.”


Won’t a face mask protect me from coronavirus?

“The important difference is the face mask was not designed to protect a wearer, instead it is a barrier to droplets and spit generated by the wearer, which should protect others,”  Grinshpun explained.

Grinshpun says certified N95 filtering face piece respirators  can screen about 95 percent of airborne particles when properly fitted for individuals who wear them.    

“Many ordinary citizens have no idea how to properly wear the respirator,” said Grinshpun.

Major workplaces, including hospitals, do fit testing so respirators are properly fitted for those who may wear them.

For Cedric Ricks’ the full story on Professor Grinshpun and Coronavirus protection visit the U.C. website. 

Click here to hear Professor Grinshpun during  his latest interview with the BBC (NOTE: start at mark 9 minutes and continue to 12 minutes).

More local health information from U.C. at http://www.healthnews.uc.edu The University of Cincinnati is one of America’s top public research institutions and one of the region’s largest employers, with a student population of more than 45,00