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Face Masks

There are many types of masks available on the market to help protect you and others around you, but not all are the same, we will try help you understand the difference.

The diameter of the coronavirus is estimated to be 125 nanometres (nm). So they type of mask you wear will make a difference.

Respirator Masks

There are various types available depending on the Country they are from:

European Standard

  1. FFP1 Filters at least 80% of particles 22% inward leakage.
  2. FFP2 Filters at least 94% of particles 8% inward leakage.
  3. FFP3 Filters at least 99% of particles 2% inward leakage.

US Standard

  1. N95 Filters at least 95% of airborne particles.
  2. N99 Filters at least 99% of airborne particles.

China Standard

  1. KN95 respirators can filter 95 percent of particles that are 100 to 300 nm in size. 8% inward leakage.
  2. KN99 as per US N99

Surgical Masks

Tested from inside out (more on this later)

  1. Type 1 bacterial filtration efficiency of over 95%.
  2. Type 11 (Type2) bacterial filtration efficiency of over 98%.
  3. Type 11R (Tyoe2R) as per Type 11 but splash resistant. Basically worn for high risk fluid exposure.

Cloth Masks

Not recommended from a clinical point in hospital settings etc. Really these should be used as the last resort and to improve protection, they should be worn with a face shield.

Respirator Masks provide the best protection and the FFP2, KN95 and K95 upwards are the best to use. Unfortunately these have become extremely expensive, we have reduced or selling margin on these as much as possible to make them cheaper, but it is still a lot of money to spend on a daily basis. These masks are generally all disposable and must be thrown within 3 to 8 hours of use or if they become to damp or damaged. There are two types one with a valve and one without. The one with the valve helps you breathe easier but there are pros and cons to both. Before buying respirator masks please take into account the medical fitness of the wearer (e.g. asthma, bronchitis or heart disease, the facial characteristics of the wearer including facial hair. Respirator masks are supposed to sit slightly on the face and a allows less oxygen in, so please be very careful when using these types of masks and if you start to feel drowsy, giddy etc. please remove it immediately. Look up videos on how to fit a respirator properly. If there is leakage then wearing one isn’t going to help as much. Most KN95 masks have ear loops and most FFP2 have head and neck bands. The head and neck bands help you adjust the mask for a tighter fit, after all not all faces are equal.

Surgical Masks are mainly for the user to stop spreading bacteria and virus, however surgical masks can protect the nose and mouth against splashes of bodily fluids. But wearing a surgical mask or a do-it-yourself mask isn’t going to 100% protect you from COVID-19 that’s suspended in the air, but something is better than nothing at all, they will at least help to some degree, depending on your environment.
In an office/work setting if every person wore one this would be a totally different case, this way every person is protected to a much higher degree.

Cloth Masks not as good as wearing any the above but more research is being done. These tend to be washable (use a 60 degree wash) so far cheaper to use. Try and pick the ones made form a non-woven fabric.