N95 Respirators

An N95 filtering facepiece respirator, more commonly just N95, is intended to filter particulates. N95s are not rated to filter other contaminates like organic vapors or gases. 

It has been shown that COVID-19 is an airborne disease.  N95s, and other respirators, are more protective than simple face coverings. Increased ventilation and respiratory protection are effective tools in combination to decrease disease spread.

Before using any N95 ensure that the product meets the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) N95 standards.



Any staff member using an N95 respirator must first complete a short training module on the proper use of the masks. The course is offered through the UCSC Learning Center

N95 Voluntary Use


If you are unable access the Learning Center N95 training you may instead review and sign the Voluntary Use Requirements document and watch the donning and doffing video.

UCSC N95 Voluntary Use Requirements

Using an N95 Respirator Video


COVID-19 Voluntary N95 Use

CalOSHA requires that employers provide N95s to unvaccinated employees upon request.  Face coverings are provided to all employees who wish to use them, regardless of vaccination status.

If you would like a face covering or N95 they can be requested through the campus' COVID-19 Supplies Request Form.  The form can be used to request other face coverings in addition to N95s. 


General Voluntary N95 Use

N95 respirators are an effective method of protection against designated hazards when properly selected and worn. Respirator use is encouraged even when exposures are below the exposure limit, to provide an additional level of comfort and protection for workers. However, if a respirator is used improperly or not kept clean, the respirator itself can become a hazard to the worker. 

Additional details on N95 voluntary use are available from the UCSC Respiratory Protection Program page. If you would like an N95 for a non-COVID-19 related hazard please contact EH&S at ehs@ucsc.edu


Required Respiratory Protection

Employees who are required to wear a respirator to protect themselves from a hazardous environment must participate in the UCSC Respiratory Protection Program. For additional guidance please contact EH&S, ehs@ucsc.edu.