What face mask against coronavirus?

What face mask against coronavirus?

What face mask against coronavirus?

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What face mask against coronavirus?

Faced with coronavirus, many people seek to protect themselves with the help of a face mask. But between surgical masks, “FFP2”, disposables, reusable … It’s not always easy to find your way around, and above all to find ones that are delivered quickly and at a good price.

Perfessional Medical Mask Disposable 3-Ply Face Mask

Are our surgical masks effective against coronavirus?

Surgical masks (or “3-ply masks“) are often the subject of conflicting recommendations in the prevention of coronavirus. What is certain is that unlike FFP2 masks which filter in both directions, a surgical mask is designed to filter the air on exhalation and not on inspiration.

Therefore, surgical masks are most often recommended for people already infected with the virus, to stop possible postulations of infectious saliva. They are also for anyone who thinks they are infected or who has recently been in contact with someone who has coronavirus.

On the other hand, if you are a healthy person wishing to protect yourself from the coronavirus, it is most often recommended to turn to FFP2 type protective masks, available above.

Perfessional Medical Mask Disposable 3-Ply Face Mask 100 PcThe lifespan of a surgical mask

Surgical masks can be worn for a maximum of 3 hours in a row. They are neither washable nor reusable, and as with FFP2 masks, any surgical mask must be discarded after being worn, even if it has been less than 3 hours.

Reusable FFP2 masks

Offering the level of protection most often indicated against coronavirus since their cartridges contain FFP2 filters, these respiratory masks with filter cartridges are washable, reusable and perfectly fit the shape of the face, guaranteeing that all the air will be well filtered (unlike disposable FFP2 masks, which is one of the main weaknesses).

Reusable fabric masks

Reusable fabric masks (PM2.5 activated carbon filters)

Are they effective against coronavirus?

Beware of reusable fabric masks, using activated carbon filters on which are written “PM2.5“. Tempting because very profitable, these masks are effective against dust, but in no case against viruses!

And many product sheets try to pass these articles off as anti-virus products, sometimes even writing “FFP2”, “N95” or “KN95” in the title or description of the ad.

KN95 Medical Face Masks

Insufficient filtration and cleaning problems

In reality, these masks will not provide you with better protection than simple surgical masks. The question can then be asked: can they replace surgical masks? The answer is no, because if the filters of these masks can easily be changed, the PM2.5 activated carbon mask, on the other hand, is difficult or even impossible to clean (unlike the reusable FFP2 masks provided for this purpose).

And even if the sellers indicate that they are washable, the 70% alcohol necessary for their disinfection eventually deteriorates them, and they cross a threshold where their filtration level begins to be altered without it being possible to detect it.

Therefore these products pose an obvious safety problem and this is the reason why, although offering a similar level of protection, the disposable surgical mask is to be preferred.

Finally to avoid any confusion: it is not because a product indicates “PM2.5” in the title or description of its page that it is bad and ineffective against coronavirus. FFP2 masks, for example, filter viruses but also PM2.5, which are quite simply… dust. Only, these reusable fabric masks filter PM2.5, there is all the difference.

What do FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3 mean?

Update on standards for protective masks

What do FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3 mean?

The masks are classified according to 3 levels of protection according to European standards EN 149-2001 and A1: 2009. The FFP1 level is that of surgical masks. For COVID-19, the minimum level most often recommended to be protected is FFP2. FFP2 masks filter at least 94% of suspended particles and FFP3 99%. FFP stands for “Filtering Facepiece Particles”.

KN95 Medical Face Masks With Breathing Valve Fresh Air-Purifying Supply

What is an FFP, N95 or KN95 mask?

The acronym FFP stands for Filtering Facepiece Particles. It designates particle masks capable of filtering the dust contained in the air, as well as the fumes, aerosols and infectious agents such as influenza viruses (avian flu, SARS, coronavirus, etc.). FFP respiratory protection masks are therefore essential accessories in the fight against the spread of viruses. These accessories meet strict standards to ensure everyone’s safety. The EN149 standard notably defines the capacity to filter the particles of the mask. The masks are thus classified in ascending order of efficiency:

FFP1: 80% of the particles are filtered
FFP2: 94% of the particles are filtered
N95 and KN95: 95% of the particles are filtered
FFP3: 98% of the particles are filtered

KN95 Medical Face Masks With Breathing Valve Fresh Air-Purifying Supply

When to wear an FFP2 or KN95 mask?

Respiratory protection masks type FFP2 are worn in different situations. They are part of the Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) essential to the practice of certain trades. These devices filter particles of wood, resin, glass wool, fungi, and protect the user’s respiratory tract from inhalation.

FFP2 masks are also recommended in the medical environment. They filter pathogens such as viruses or bacteria transmissible between individuals by air or by “droplet”, that is to say by spraying saliva or by secretions from the upper respiratory tract. In this context, the FFP2 respiratory mask is reserved for healthcare staff as well as relatives in contact with a sick person.

KN95 Medical Face Masks

The different products available

There are different types of FFP2 respiratory protection masks. The respiratory protection mask is most often disposable, especially when it is used in a hospital environment. There are reusable models, for the building in particular. The masks can be made of a semi-rigid shell. Others are foldable and usually look like a “duckbill”. It is found in hospitals and healthcare establishments in general. FFP2 masks can be fitted with a valve or valve. These elements help to remove carbon dioxide more easily, which facilitates breathing while preventing fogging, on glasses for example. Finally, some models are fitted with different seals ensuring maximum sealing and optimized comfort.

The FFP2 mask has many advantages:

It is ergonomic, comfortable and easy to use
It meets drastic safety and hygiene standards
It effectively protects the health of its user from the risks of inhalation of fine and toxic particles and pathogens
It fully participates in the fight against the spread of viruses
It does not interfere with communication between people

KN95 face mask

How to use an FFP2 mask, KN95?

For instructions on how to use an FFP2 respirator, see the product insert. In absolute terms, you must unfold the mask before positioning it on the nose and so that it fits with the chin. A small metal bar at the top of the nose must be folded and tightened to maintain the mask. Place the clips and tighten them. A mask of this type can be worn for an average of 4 hours straight. Most of these respiratory masks are for single use. They are to be discarded as soon as they become dirty or wet.

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