Which Facemask is Right for you?
What type of face protection is right for you?
As we all get used to living day to day life with social distancing and stay-at-home orders, getting facemasks and coverings for when we leave the house or operate in our essential workplaces is paramount to preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus. The fact that the virus can infect many without showing symptoms for several weeks or even at all means that we must be conscious of how we interact with each other and the public places around us. But many are asking, “Which facemask should I wear and what are their differences?” Below we have described the features and benefits of each type of mask and covering that we offer so you can compare and select the options that best suit your needs.
- Soft ear loops allow for comfortable wearing for long periods and made from a soft, non-irritating, hypo-allergenic material
- Prevents the wearer from spreading most infectious agents by trapping bodily fluids, and most microorganisms and particulates, that can be spread from the nose and mouth.
- The surgical mask is to protect the spread of the virus, it is not effective at preventing infection of the wearer.
- Used in hospitals to prevent cross-contamination by professionals when interacting with severely immunocompromised patients or during surgical procedures
N95 and KN95:
Key Features and Differences:
A common question that has arisen during social distancing is, “What are the differences between N95 and KN95 masks?” The two types of masks are approved by two different regulatory bodies with N95 masks gaining approval from NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) and KN95s are approved by the equivalent Chinese organization the NMPA (National Medical Products Administration). For the most part, the masks are very similar. They are both required to filter out a minimum of 95% of airborne particulates down to .3 microns and they both require a seal to function as intended. For most users either one is just as effective as the other. However there are some small differences, for one, the N95 has stricter requirements regarding the pressure drop in the mask when inhaling or exhaling and this leads to better breathability. The KN95 also requires a mask fit test after putting it on to ensure a proper seal while the N95 does not. So all in all, for the majority of wearers, either mask will defend against most airborne contagions.
- Both are required to filter 95% of airborne particulates down to .3 microns
- Both require a seal to function properly
- Approved by regulatory bodies NIOSH (N95/USA) and NMPA (KN95/China)
- N95 has stricter requirements for inhaling/exhaling pressure which allows for better breathability
- Protects the eyes and face of the wearer from spray and splatter
- Adjustable fit
- Anti-fog, anti-glare, anti-static
- When combined with a face mask provides an extra layer of protection from cross-contamination by the wearer
- Generally used for medical purposes
- This mask can be an added layer of protection for the average user if so desired but generally it is not necessary. Most commonly this would be worn by medical professionals.
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