We were buoyed today to learn that WHEN NOT IF the evil deadly pig-sickness hits our fair city, the San Francisco Police Department’s 1,800 men and women will not be defenseless: they will be issued disposable N95 respirators (respirator being a fancy way to say “88 cent disposable cotton masky-thingie that’s not at all guaranteed to keep you from getting sick while making you look like an utter tool”).
But we being curious-minded folk (and folk familiar with gas-masks from a recent Breaking Bad watchathon) we wanted to know a little more about the N95, so we peeped the US Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health’s handy infopage on the N95.
We found out:
What N95 means: “The ‘N95’ designation means that when subjected to careful testing, the respirator blocks at least 95% of very small test particles.”
“If properly fitted, the filtration capabilities of N95 respirators exceed those of face masks. However, even a properly fitted N95 respirator does not completely eliminate the risk of illness or death.”
“N95 respirators are not designed for children or people with facial hair. Because a proper fit cannot be achieved on children and people with facial hair, the N95 respirator may not provide full protection.”
So the cop mustaches have to go.
But the kicker was this final statement:
“These devices are labeled “NOT for occupational use.”
Which is fine, because as we all know, police work is a vocation.
Granted, there do exist industrial-grade N95s which ARE for occupational use, however, those industrial-type models have yet to receive the FDA’s endorsement. We can only hope that by WHEN NOT IF piggy flu strikes the City, the FDA will have approved an occupational model for SFPD use, and give the shitty disease-spreading type to the perps they will be forced to mask.