From: ILPI Support <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Market research question: N99 vs N95 for specific market segment
Date: Thu, 16 Apr 2020 20:49:30 -0400
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: CF3CD186-1FEB-4405-B2B2-CD6B2087DABE**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <63A28E21-4CC3-4E9D-8701-B9799F49CC17**At_Symbol_Here**>

Two quick summaries of the types of responses I got to this inquiry. Thanks to everyone for their input:

1. =46rom a medical perspective, some agreed that the exhalation valve (see the CDC link in Note 1 below which summarizes the issues well) could be problematic.  In theory, the combination of one of those with a surgical mask might work out. The ultimate solution is actually PAPR's, but that is orders of magnitude more expensive and production capacity for those will take years to fill the need.

2. Regardless of medical or industrial, we all know that PPE that is not worn correctly is not effective. We've all seen how students in undergraduate courses are often found with fogged up goggles protecting their foreheads rather than their eyes.  No doubt in the upcoming hot summer months where many will be occupationally wearing masks for extended periods, the N99 is much more comfortable, is more likely to be worn, and is therefore worth the added cost.

Switching gears, I wanted to give you an update on the state of PPE availabilty in New Jersey as I understand it right now

We actually got an allocation of five cases of N99's which were snapped up by a local hospital. I've spoken with a number of medical and government purchasers today and what's going on out there is astonishing. A county-level official told me that they have suppliers demanding 100% cash in advance with a minimum of 100K or even 1 million masks of unknown origin at prices of $4 or more per N95 - for delivery in June.  Everyone I spoke to was amazed that we are selling at normal prices under normal terms - not just amazed, but *grateful*.  I had yet another email today from a hospital worker who wrote "I am in the healthcare field and I've been searching high and low for these. I can prove my employment or whatever it will take to get my box sooner rather than later."  He followed up in our discussion with "the minimums and costs are out of control especially for someone like me that needs a small amount because I would rather buy my own and save the hospital masks for the emergency doctors and triage docs."  It's such an extreme between the multitudes of selfless individuals and the small minority of soulless ones who control a large segment of the supply.  Some of the responses I got to my original post indicated that they wanted masks but couldn't justify them yet when essential people need them more - and that they were happy to wait. The DCHAS list really is a bunch of Good People=E2=84=A2.

Tyvek, respirator hoods, gowns, gloves  etc. all remain unavailable at the master distributors we use for those.  They are not accepting orders.  Best guess I've gotten from them is that stock might become available June 1.

This last bit is effectively a commercial solicitation to the readership, so you can stop here if you don't want to hear it.  I am most interested in interest regarding #2:

1. There is the very small *potential* we can get additional cases of N99's next week.  I have no idea how many, if any, and I expect other hospitals I've contacted to grab them.  However, if you're a medical worker, hospital, university health clinic, first responder, run an essential business/industry etc. located in the US and you want to be put on our waiting list for these, contact us OFF LIST at esupport**At_Symbol_Here**, and let us know how many you're looking for.  The N99's are listed here: 

2. I am putting together an order for additional N99's and N95's which we hope to have by the end of June.  N95 info here:  If you would like to place a pre-order, again, contact us OFF LIST with your info and needs.  Don't bother using the web site to place preorders.  We anticipate monthly restocks and wide availability by August.

3. FYI, we have some face shields due in around the end of the month:  You can place those orders on the web site if you're interested in them.

For the masks, if you are in one of these critical areas and are placing your order as an individual rather than an institution, we're going to need some kind of proof.  That can be a picture of your work ID, a pay stub, an email from your or a supervisor's work email etc.  Or you can have the items shipped to you at that institution.

I am still amazed that nobody in our government has seen fit to institute price controls on these essential items and to restrict their sale to areas of critical need. Procurement people are needlessly wasting time, effort, and money - fighting each other while trying to protect the heroes who need this stuff.  Hopefully more businesses will step up and do the right thing.  I'm trying to lead by example.

If you read this far, thanks for indulging me.  Stay safe and healthy!

Rob Toreki

Safety Emporium - Lab & Safety Supplies featuring brand names
you know and trust.  Visit us at
esales**At_Symbol_Here**  or toll-free: (866) 326-5412
Fax: (856) 553-6154, PO Box 1003, Blackwood, NJ 08012

On Apr 15, 2020, at 8:16 PM, ILPI Support <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM> wrote:

My company is gearing up to begin selling NIOSH-approved N95 and N99 particulate-filtering respirators. Both are cup style particulate filtering masks but the N99's have a valve which makes breathing out much more enjoyable (see Note 1 below), however, they are about twice the cost of the N95's.  To put a number on this at the moment, say the N95 is between $1.50 and $2.00 each and remember that the end user is likely going to be using these for the foreseeable future.

The manufacturer and we are trying to anticipate what the demand split might be for the two.  For now we are only going to take domestic (US) orders that ship directly to medical and essential service industries and we are also planning to limit purchase quantities to ensure everyone gets an equal shot.

If you are involved in either using or decision-making the purchase of these items in a hospital/healthcare environment or an essential service industry, we'd be interested in your feedback on this. Please contact me off-list at info**At_Symbol_Here** with your thoughts about the N99 vs N95 being worth it with respect to preferences, cost/comfort, quantities your facility might need etc. and I will anonymously summarize those responses back to the list.  I can throw in a 5% discount to thank those who participate.


Rob Toreki

Note 1: For anyone with concerns about exhalation valves in infection control see .  I figure that most regular non-valve masks probably don't filter outwardly very well, given that a lot of the air escapes out the sides, but I don't have any data.

Note 2: NIOSH has a nice summary of respirator designations here:  Note also than the KN95's you are hearing about or are likely getting multiple daily spams for are *not* NIOSH-certified.

Note 3: We are anticipating exceedingly limited stock of the N99's next week most of which is already allocated.  For the most part we are looking at June availability with abundant supply by August.

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