The two most popular and useful face masks to stop Coronavirus spread are as below:
- Disposable 3ply Face Masks
- N95, KN95 and FFP3 Face Masks
- Disposable 3ply Face Masks:
Disposable face masks are made of 3 layers of non-woven fabrics. They are similar to resisting liquids, filtering bacteria and particulates and are a kind of medical protective fabric. The face mask has three layers: inner, middle melt-blown material layer and outer layer which is a special material antibacterial layer (non-woven fabric or ultra-thin polypropylene melt-blown material layer).
Disposable masks are waterproof, comfortable, inodorous, glass fiber-free, non-irritating to the skin, and can disinfect pathogenic microorganisms on the media after disinfection to make them harmless; and they are dust-proof because Breathing resistance is tiny, wearing hygienic, aerosol, dust, fume, mist, poisonous gas and poisonous vapor are absorbed by the filter material to block and not be inhaled by its wearers, and isolate the source of pollution, effectively.
There are four types of disposable face masks:
- Disposable 3ply Civilian Face Mask
- Disposable 3ply Medical Face Mask
- Disposable 3ply Surgical Face Mask
- Disposable 3ply Children Face Mask
Disposable 3ply Civilian Face Mask is for daily personal usage to ban the exhalation of pollutants from the mouth and nose.
Disposable 3ply Medical Face Mask is used in general medical environment to ban the exhalation of pollutants from the mouth and nose.
Disposable 3ply Surgical Face Mask is used by clinical medical personnel in the process of invasive operation. It provides a physical barrier to prevent the direct passage of pathogens, body fluids, microorganisms and particles.
Disposable 3ply Children Face Mask are made of high-quality melt-blown cloth, safe and non-toxic, good breathability, soft and comfortable, and exquisite workmanship. It has Soft elastic ear-band for more comfortable wearing. It is perfect for everyday activities such as outdoor sports and outings. It can function as a barrier and protect your kids from harm. Besides the Kid-friendly cartoon designs add a sense of fun that helps them feel more comfortable with the idea of wearing a face mask.
- KN95, N95 and FFP3 mask (respirators)
Particulate respirators are designed to help decreasing its wearer’s exposure to airborne particulate dangers. In the United States., respirators are examined and certified by the U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). NIOSH tests and certifies respirators based on their performance and physical characteristics, like filtration efficiency. For instance, N95-rated filtering face-piece respirators have at least 95% filtration efficiency against non-oily particles when tested according to the NIOSH criteria. The particles which used to test the filtration are in a size range that is considered the most penetrating. Therefore, the test methods warrant that the filter media can filter particles with at least 95% efficiency.
There are two types of N95 masks:
- N95 Face Mask: Standard
- N95 Face Mask: Surgical
- N95 Face Mask: Standard helps decrease particles inhaled by its wearer and it can be exploited for respiratory protection when wearer might be exposed to particulate dangers.
N95 Face Mask: Surgical helps decrease particles both inhaled and expelled by and is planned to be used during surgery and other tasks which wearer is required to respiratory protection and in places which contains expelled particulates or somewhere there is fluid resistance.
Surgical N95 respirators are designed to decrease but not eliminate the wearer’s disposal to airborne biological contaminants. They cannot eliminate the risk of disease, illness or death.
There are two types of KN95 masks:
- KN95 Face Mask: Civilian
- KN95 Face Mask: FFP2
KN95 FFP2 Face Mask helps protect against flu, avian flu, swine flu and COVID-19. Also, it can filter non-toxic dust, allergens, pollen, sawdust, dander, garage dust, garden and general household dust and irritants.
It has 4 Layers of Protection:
1st layer is Soft non-woven fabric layer to ban pollen and large particles.
2nd layer is Needle-punched cotton layer to filter small microns
3rd layer is Melt-blown fabric layer
4th layer is Skin-friendly highly breathable non-woven fabric layer to absorb exhalation and ban secondary pollution.
KN95 Civilian Face Mask inhibits the spread of flu, cold, COVID-19 and many other airborne pathogens. The difference between KN95 disposable civilian face mask and KN95 disposable FFP2 face mask is that the first one cannot be used in general medical environments.
This mask offers the highest level of protection which protects against up to 50x OEL or 20x APF concentration of materials. They can block both liquid and solid aerosols.
Current NHS guidelines affirm FFP3 face masks for bacterial and virus infection control when the infection can spread through coughs and sneezes. This masks can also be used by healthcare professionals while exposed with the infection.
- Prevents higher levels of dust.
- Prevents the penetration of solid and liquid aerosols.
- More protective than FFP1, and FFP2.
- Can be used for handling hazardous powders such as those in the pharmaceutical industry.
- Can be used as an Asbestos mask
Besides the level of protection that each kind of mask offers, there are some design elements that someone may consider:
- Unvalved and valved:
In unvalved masks, the filtration system is built in the fabric. They are more lightweight and fairly discreet. This can make the mask comfortable to wear, and they don’t feel heavy on the face.
The other type is valved mask. Although this can make the mask slightly bulkier and, it reduces the air resistance. Valved masks are typically less sweaty and stuffy, so they are more breathable and comfortable to wear.
- Folded and moulded:
Folded masks are very discreet and easy to carry around with you. The fabric design is quite breathable. They offer a good fit to the face because of the elastic head straps, however, they do not offer a perfectly flush fit.
Moulded masks has the closest fit on the face because they are made with the shape of your face and fit snuggly with your nose, mouth and chin. This can make the mask more effective, as it minimises the risk of particles getting into your respiratory system through any gaps that a looser-fitting mask might leave.
How to use disposable 3ply masks?
- Regardless of the type of mask (civilian, medical or surgical), there are actually front and back sides. One of the sides has dark color. The dark color is the front side. The front side should be outward. The medical and surgical masks has a metal nose strip on them.
- The light side of the mask should opposite to the face.
- Wash your hands, and then hang the rope on the ears at both ends.
- The last step, which is the most important step, is also the metal strip problem. After wearing the mask, you need to press the metal strips on both sides of the bridge of the nose with both hands, so that the upper end of the mask is close to the bridge of the nose, and then down. Stretch the mask until there is no wrinkles on it. If it covers the nose and mouth, the effect of the mask will be better.
How to use KN95, N95 and FFP3 masks?
The general steps for using face piece respirators are:
- Put on the respirator and use both straps
- form the nose clip firmly to your nose using both of your hands (do not use only one hand, and do not pinch because a pinched nose clip might leak)
- Check the position in a mirror to make sure it is properly adjusted
* The respirators should be carefully removed, touching only the straps and not the surface of the face piece portion, and then appropriately discarded immediately after use (if the wearer was using it around the infectious patients).