3m 8511 NIOSH approved Respirator is acceptable for protecting user and others
My N95 filtering facepiece respirator has an exhalation valve. Is that okay? Will it protect both me and others?
Yes, an N95 filtering facepiece respirator will protect you and provide source control to protect others. A NIOSH-approved N95 filtering facepiece respirator with an exhalation valve offers the same protection to the wearer as one that does not have a valve. As source control, findings from NIOSH research suggest that, even without covering the valve, N95 respirators with exhalation valves provide the same or better source control than surgical masks, procedure masks, cloth masks, or fabric coverings. In general, individuals wearing NIOSH-approved N95s with an exhalation valve should not be asked to use one without an exhalation valve or to cover it with a face covering or mask. However, NIOSH-approved N95 respirators with an exhalation valve are not fluid resistant. Therefore, in situations where a fluid resistant respirator is indicated (e.g., in surgical settings), individuals should wear a surgical N95 or, if a surgical N95 is not available, cover their respirator with a surgical mask or a face shield. Be careful not to compromise the fit of the respirator when placing a facemask over the respirator.
Source: CDC (for CDC website info click here)