FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

Do you accept returns?

Because of the personal nature of masks, we cannot accept returns. All sales are final. Our warranty covers defects in manufacturing.

What's so special about Airgami?

Origami is the patented secret sauce behind the Airgami respirator. The origami structure is a meta-material that causes the mask to gently grip your face and stay seated on your face while you talk and make facial movements. The unique, self-conforming fit creates a tight seal that keeps out polluted and infected air.

Airgami has a filter that is much larger than the filters found in other masks. The laws of physics dictate that the bigger a filter's surface area, the less resistance you have to passing air through the filter. Airgami has the largest filter of any face-filtering respirator, so it's inherently the most breathable. Add to that an incredibly breathable, USA-made, electrostatic filter, and you get the most breathable, feather-light mask in the world.

Where can I find Airgami fitting instructions?

Airgami mask usage and fitting instructions are here.

Which end is up on the Airgami mask?

The Airgami Infinite-a logo (it looks like an infinity sign made of two letters "a" stem to stem) should be at the tip of your nose when the mask is worn properly. Many people put masks on upside down, regardless of the mask manufacturer. Therefore, please take care to put your Airgami mask on with the Infinite-a top center.

What is the Airgami filter made of?

The Airgami filter is an electrostatically-charged melt-blown polypropylene material made in the USA. It can filter air to remove 95% of the most penetrating particles, down to 0.3 microns in diameter and even smaller.

How long will my Airgami mask last?

Your Airgami mask can last more than a month under typical urban-wear conditions. If the air is very dusty, the filter will fill with debris more rapidly. If the air is cleaner, the filter will fill less rapidly. The mask can resist multiple disinfection cycles.

How do I know when to replace my Airgami mask?

Replace your mask after the filter gets clogged with dust and becomes hard to breathe through, or if the insides get dirty and contaminated, or if the mask is punctured, crushed, or otherwise structurally damaged. You can tell if the filter gets clogged with dust because it will look dirty and the mask's breathing resistance feel harder.

Can I rinse my Airgami mask in clean tap water?

Yes. We recommend rinsing the Airgami mask thoroughly in clean water at the end of your daily use. This keeps bacteria from accumulating inside the mask and causing it to smell. Set your Airgami mask out to dry thoroughly on a clean surface before reuse. If the mask has been exposed to virus-carrying aerosols or dangerous bacteria, please follow our Airgami mask disinfection protocol.

Can the Airgami mask be washed in soap, bleach, or alcohol?

No! Do not wash the Airgami mask in soap, bleach, or alcohol. These chemicals damage the important electrostatic properties of the filter and cause it to be less efficient at removing dangerous microscopic particles from the air you inhale and exhale.

How do I disinfect my Airgami mask?

Rinse your Airgami mask in clean/filtered tap water. Place the mask on a rotating turntable in a 1,100W to 1,500W microwave oven. Run oven on high power for 3 minutes. Air-dry mask on a clean surface.

Alternatively, place your Airgami mask in a preheated oven at 90°C (194°F) for 30 minutes. WARNING: Do not place mask anywhere near heating elements that can exceed 90°C (194°F) even for a brief moment, otherwise mask materials might melt.

What does the Airgami mask protect me from inhaling?

The Airgami mask contains a filter that protects you from inhaling 95% of all particles and aerosols larger than 0.3 microns in diameter. That's 200 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. Particles of this size are extremely hazardous to breathe and can be found in smoky, polluted air. Droplets and aerosols blocked by the filter are also known to carry infectious airborne agents, such as viruses and bacteria.

Does the Airgami mask supply oxygen?

No! The Airgami mask does not supply oxygen. Do not use in atmospheres containing less than 19.5% oxygen. Do not use when concentrations of contaminants are immediately dangerous to life or health.

How is the Airgami mask tested?

Airgami masks are constructed according to strict ISO 9001 quality standards. Every mask we make is individually inspected for quality. Samples are tested at Nelson Labs, an independent lab that performs pre-certification testing recognized by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Nelson Labs pre-certification testing involves exactly the same tests under the same conditions as NIOSH would run if NIOSH were to qualify a respirator as being N95. These include inhalation/exhalation resistance testing and NaCl (sodium chloride) vapor penetration tests. Airgami has already passed Nelson Labs' NIOSH N95 pre-certification tests.

What are NIOSH and FDA?

NIOSH and FDA are USA federal government agencies.

NIOSH stands for the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. NIOSH is responsible for certifying that masks are N95 compliant for use in occupational settings.

FDA stands for the Food and Drug Administration. FDA is responsible for certifying that masks are complaint for use in medical settings.

Is the Airgami mask NIOSH and FDA approved?

Not yet. However, Airgami passes NIOSH pre-certification testing, which is the first step towards NIOSH approval. Achieving NIOSH approval is an ongoing process to which Air99 LLC is fully committed.

Is the Airgami mask patented?

Yes. The Airgami mask is patented internationally and the patent is owned by Air99 LLC.

Is Airgami a registered trademark?

Yes. Airgami is a registered trademark of Air99 LLC.

Does the Airgami mask fit children?

Yes. Airgami comes in 5 sizes that scale down to children's sizes (M, S, and XS). Airgami also has a micro-adjustable harness to create a customized fit.

What is an N95 face-filtering respirator (FFR)?

An N95 face-filtering respirator cover the nose and mouth and seals around the edges to prevent polluted or infected air from leaking into the mask and being inhaled. The N95 designation is approved only after a mask passes both Nelson Labs pre-certification testing and then again by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). 

N95 masks must filter 95% of all particles greater than 0.3 microns in diameter and must measure below the NIOSH-set threshold for inhalation/exhalation resistance. Airgami passes both these Nelson Labs tests and has the lowest breathing resistance of any mask that is publicly documented.

N95 and N99 masks are designed to protect you from inhaling small particles and viruses that ride airborne on nearly-invisible aerosols that everyone exhales when they breathe. N95/N99 masks are essential forms of protection against the COVID-19 pandemic SARS-CoV-2 virus and future viruses. N95 and N99 masks are also effective against airborne influenza viruses, tuberculosis, and air pollution PM2.5 particulate matter.

What is a surgical mask?

A surgical mask is typically a pleated filter material that covers your mouth and nose and uses a deformable wire to conform to your face. Surgical masks are intended to protect people around the wearer from potentially infected droplets and aerosols. Surgical masks do not protect the wearer from PM2.5 air pollution or infected aerosols.

Do N95 respirators trap particles smaller than 0.3 microns?

Yes. N95 filtration material can capture particles smaller than 0.3 microns in diameter. Surprisingly, however, 0.3 micron diameter particles are more difficult to capture than 0.1 micron diameter particles because of the properties of air flow at microscopic scales and the electrostatic properties of the filter material. For this reason, 0.3 micron-sized particles are the standard used to determine a material's filtration efficiency.

What are the USA respirator rating classes: N, R, and P?

Respirators in the USA are rated N, R, and P.
N — Not oil resistant
R — Resistant to oil
P — Oil proof

What are the USA respirator rating numerical classes: 95, 99, 100?

95 — Removes 95% of all particles 0.3 microns in diameter and larger.
99 — Removes 99% of all particles 0.3 microns in diameter and larger.
100 — Removes 99.97% of all particles 0.3 microns in diameter and larger.

For example, N95 stands for a not-oil-resistant respirator that removes 95% of all particles 0.3 microns in diameter and larger.

Can the Airgami mask be reused?

Yes.

Do masks slow the spread of COVID-19?

Several scientific studies have been published that strongly suggest that N95 masks are as effective as a vaccine when protecting against the spread of airborne viruses. When it comes to COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2, the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that any face covering is better than none as it reduces the viral load in the air around infected people who are shedding virus particles.

Does facial hair affect my mask's fit?

Yes. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that the skin where your mask contacts your face be clean-shaven for maximum protection. Facial hair lifts a mask — any mask — away from the skin, allowing microscopic particles to leak in under the edge seal and then into the mask where they can be inhaled.

Will the Airgami protect me from forest-fire smoke?

Yes, the Airgami will protect you from smoke from fires, as long as the smoke isn't laced with toxic chemicals, like from a chemical fire or burning of toxic materials.

Will the Airgami mask protect me if there's no oxygen?

No. The Airgami mask does not supply you with oxygen or air to breathe. The Airgami mask filters out particulates and aerosols in the air so that you won't inhale them. Airgami should not be used in an environment with insufficient oxygen to support life or in spaces with high concentrations of toxic substances.

Will the Airgami protect me from oil-based particulates?

No. The Airgami mask is currently made to filter only non-oil particulates. We have constructed prototypes using P-grade filtration, but we do not manufacture a P-grade product.

Will the Airgami mask protect me from automobile and diesel exhaust particulates?

Yes, Airgami is designed to protect you from most particulates emanating from internal combustion engines.

Will the Airgami mask protect me from volatile organic compounds (VOCs)?

No. These oil-based compounds require a P-grade filter material.

Will the Airgami mask protect me from pollen and dust from yard work?

Yes. Airgami is the perfect companion during allergy season, flu season, and yard cleanups where dust is present.

Will Airgami help me with my multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS)?

Yes, the Airgami mask blocks many chemicals used in fragrances and is helpful to people who have MCS. You can now walk through the detergent aisle in the supermarket without having to hold your breath.

Where is the Airgami mask manufactured?

All materials used in the mask are made and bought in the USA by world-leading manufacturers of advanced non-woven materials. The mask was invented, prototyped, and is now being manufactured exclusively in the USA using USA-based labor.

What are the benefits of the Airgami origami design?

The two main benefits of the Airgami design, enabled by the art and technology of origami, are a better fit and better breathability.

The Airgami mask uniquely self-conforms to your face as you breathe in and out, talk, shout, cough, sneeze, and make other facial movements. No other mask in the world adapts itself automatically to the contours of your face like the Airgami mask. This creates a superior, air-tight seal around your mouth and nose to keep you from inhaling bad air. It also protects others around you from breathing your exhalations should you be infected.

The tessellated folds in the origami design increase the surface area of the Airgami filter compared to conventional masks. The Airgami mask has a filter that can be several times larger than other masks. Breathing resistance goes down proportional to filter surface area. So for the same filter material, the Airgami mask can be several times easier to breathe through than a conventional mask. This means the mask is much more comfortable and will stay cooler than other masks.

Why doesn't Airgami have an exhale valve?

Masks with exhale valves allow infected wearers to spread their infection because the air you exhale is not filtered on the way out of the exhale valve. Therefore, if you are shedding a virus, it can escape directly through the exhale valve and infect others around you. That is why doctors, nurses, and first responders who wear N95 masks wear masks that do not have exhale valves.

Many masks have exhale valves because it makes it easier to breathe out. Because the Airgami is much more breathable than other masks, an exhale valve is not necessary. Without an exhale valve, the Airgami mask is much lighter and more comfortable than other masks.

What are examples of different particle sizes of air-borne pollutants and infectious agents?
Pollutant Particle Size (microns)
Anthrax 1 — 5
Asbestos 0.7 — 90
Athmospheric Dust 0.001 — 40
Bacteria 0.3 — 60
Beach Sand 100 — 10000
Bone Dust 3 — 300
Bromine 0.1 — 0.7
Carbon Dioxide 0.00065
Copier Toner 0.5 — 15
Corn Starch 0.1 — 0.8
Fiberglass Insulation 1 — 1000
Lead 0.1 — 0.7
Metallurgical Dust 0.1 — 1000
Mold Spores 10 — 30
Oil Smoke 0.03 — 1
One inch 25400
Oxygen 0.0005
Pesticides & Herbicides 0.001
Radioactive Fallout 0.1 — 10
Red Blood Cells 5 — 10
Saw Dust 30 — 600
Smoke from Natural Materials 0.01 — 0.1
Smoke from Synthetic Materials 1 — 50
Spores 3 — 40
Sugars 0.0008 — 0.005
Tobacco Smoke 0.01 — 4
Do N95 filters block tuberculosis?

In 2016, there were more than 10 million cases of active tuberculosis (TB) which resulted in 1.3 million deaths. This makes TB the number one cause of death from an infectious disease.

When people with active pulmonary TB cough, sneeze, speak, sing, or spit, they expel infectious aersol droplets 0.5 to 5 microns in diameter. A single sneeze can release up to 40,000 droplets. Each one of these droplets may transmit TB, since the infectious dose of TB is very small (the inhalation of fewer than 10 bacteria may cause an infection).

- Source Wikipedia

What is a mask's Fit Factor?

Fit Factor is a unitless percentage that measures how well a mask fits a wearer's face, seals against their skin to prevent leakage, and purifies the outside air. Fit Factor is measured while a human subject performs a simulation of workplace activities (the exercises) while wearing a mask. Fit Factor measures the concentration of particulates outside the respirator divided by their concentration inside the respirator. A high Fit Factor indicates a mask that seals tightly against the subjects face, stopping leakage around the edges, and a mask that also comprises a high-efficiency filter.

Does the Airgami mask use military-grade materials like other masks?

The basis of this question is an empty marketing claim made by some other mask manufacturers who sell conventional products that are impossible to differentiate, so they claim military-grade materials. This claim carries no scientific merit. Military forces around the world use N95 and N99 grade filtration materials that comply with the same regulatory standards as the Airgami mask. The US military relies on the same USA regulatory bodies, like NIOSH and FDA, to certify that a mask meets standards for filtration.

Not all N95 or N99 filtering materials are the same, however. Airgami uses the most breathable and most advanced melt-blown electrostatic filtration materials to give you the greatest protection and comfort possible.