COVID-19: A guide to face masks

On 28 April, Nicola Sturgeon said there might be ‘some benefit’ in wearing a cloth face covering in places where social distancing was hard. But how do we know what masks are suitable for diverse environments? Here’s couple of guide to face masks… Get much more information about N95 FFP2 China

Varieties of face masks

The first step in identifying the face mask to match your needs should be to know the diverse varieties. Medical face masks are broken down into 2 principal categories; surgical masks and respirators. Listed below are some kinds of masks you might have heard of:

Type I Face Mask
Form I R Face Mask
Kind II Face Mask
Type II R Face Mask
FFP2 Face Mask
FFP3 Face Mask
N95 Face Mask

What’s the difference between Kind I and Type II Masks?

Form I, and Sort I R face masks have a BFE (bacterial filtration efficiency) of 95%, whereas Variety II and Type II R face masks have a BFE of 98%. The breathing resistance, and splash resistance for Kind I R and Variety II R masks, are exactly the exact same.

Sort I, I R, II and II R face masks are medical masks tested within the path of exhalation (inside to outdoors) and take into account the efficiency of bacterial filtration. Surgical masks of this kind quit the wearer from infecting the surrounding environment. They may be not effective at protecting the wearer from airbourne ailments for example coronavirus.

What’s a Type II Face Mask?

Type II face masks (EN14683) are medical face masks produced up of a protective 3 ply construction that prevents substantial particles from reaching the patient or working surfaces, even so they are not efficient when blood or bodily fluids are present.

Qualities of Kind II face masks consist of:

Pleat style with ear loops or ties
Protective three-layer building
Obtainable within a variety of colours and designs.
What’s a Kind IIR Face Mask?

Type IIR face masks EN14683 are medical face masks produced up of a 4 ply building that prevents significant particles from reaching the patient or functioning surfaces. Form IIR Face masks consist of a splash resistant layer to shield against blood and also other bodily fluids. Type IIR face masks are tested inside the path of exhalation (inside to outside) and take into account the efficiency of bacterial filtration.

Traits of Variety IIR face masks incorporate:

Pleat style with ear loops or ties
Protective four-layer construction
Out there within a assortment of colours and types
Splash resistant layer against bodily fluids.
Sort I, Sort IR, Sort II and Type IIR masks are for use in defending other people in the wearer transmitting infection.

What’s the distinction between FFP2 and FFP3 Face Masks?

FFP2 & FFP3 Face Masks are European classes of respirators, tested on the direction of inspiration (outdoors to inside) and take into account leakage to the face and filtration efficiency.

FFP2 face masks are the equivalent of N95 face masks, which meet the guidelines in the World Health Organisation for protection against Covid-19. FFP2 masks have a minimum of 94% filtration percentage and a maximum of 8% leakage to the inside. These masks are not shaped to your face but are simply held in place by the elastic earloop and have a typical lifespan of 3-8 hours depending on environmental factors.

FFP3 face masks are the most successful at filtration, with a minimum filtration of 99% and a maximum leakage of 2% to the inside. These masks are better shaped to your face for a much more snug match and typically possess a valve to help breathe as the filtration material is much thicker. The valve also reduces the build up of moisture, lengthening the lifespan of the mask. FFP3 masks are typically used for handling asbestos.

FFP2, FFP3, N95 along with other respirator masks are successful at safeguarding the wearer from viral transmission.

It should be noted that N95 masks can not be officially legally recommended for use in Europe although inside the current situation with PPE shortages in practice a far more flexible approach seems to be being taken.

What are the US and European Standards for face masks?

Medical masks and respirators undergo different standards and regulations, dependent on the geographical area to which they’re manufactured.

Medical masks in Europe must comply with the European standard EN 14683, which have 3 levels of bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE1, BFE2, Variety R). Within the US medical masks must comply with ASTM standards, which have 3 levels of protection (from low risk of exposure to fluids to high risk of exposure to fluids).

Respirators in Europe must meet European standard EN 149: 2001, which includes 3 classes of disposable particulate respirators (FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3). Inside the US respirators must comply with NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) standards.

Within this standard, there are several classes of respirators depending on the degree of oil resistance:

Class N: no oil resistance. A distinction is created among N95, N99 and N100. The number after the letter indicates the percentage of filtration of suspended particles.
Class R: mask resistant to oil for up to eight hours. Right here again, a distinction is made in between R95, R99 and R100.
Class P: a completely oil-resistant mask. There are also P95, P99 and P100.

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