Finding the most effective PPE face mask for you
As a global community, we’re facing one of the biggest crises in memory. To get through it, we all have to do our part in halting the spread of coronavirus, and a big part of that is effective personal protective equipment, or PPE. We can all take steps to ensure COVID-19 doesn’t take countless more lives, which is where face masks come in.
One of the key overarching pieces of advice from numerous healthcare advisory bodies is the importance of using face masks. Whether it’s a matter of preventing asymptomatic carriers from spreading the virus further, or protecting your own respiratory system from invasive droplets, face masks are the most direct line of defence we have against coronavirus right now.
For most of us, wearing protective masks has not been a common course of action. That means knowing where to start can be a little confusing, especially since there are so many options out there. Over the course of this blog we’re going to explain the full range of options available in our PPE shop, and help you find the right protective face mask for you and your loved ones.
What are protective face masks?
First, let’s discuss exactly what constitutes a protective face mask in the context of defending against respiratory diseases. Fortunately, there’s no great mystery as to what PPE face masks are; they’re coverings designed to protect your mouth and nose from any potentially harmful airborne droplets, pathogens and viruses.
In order to prevent the transmission of these fluids, most masks provide a simple layered fabric defence that fits over the nose and mouth. How thick this fabric is, how many layers of fabric there are, and what material each layer is made of all influence the mask’s efficacy. Face masks can further be divided into respirator face masks and surgical masks depending on fit.
The best face mask for you
Generally speaking, face masks can be categorised based on the amount of fluid they successfully filter in each instance. That makes ranking their efficacy nice and simple, and gives each mask a clear utility for the marketplace.
At PPE Solution we stock three different masks, since our priority is on offering the best PPE options on the market. We’re going to place these in reverse order of effectiveness, starting with the face mask that provides the most fluid filtration, and ending with the least. Find the best option for you today!
1. KN95 Face Mask (maximum efficiency)
Our signature protective face mask is the KN95. Classified at the efficiency level FFP2 according to the EU, these filter a minimum of 94% of all potential bacteria from incoming and outgoing airflow. That’s what makes these such a strong option for anyone concerned for the wellbeing of everyone they come in contact with.
The reasons KN95 face masks are so effective against COVID-19 is because of the seal the respirator creates around the mouth and nose, offering five layers of protection. Usually these would be used by hospital staff treating patients with influenza, or other respiratory illnesses, meaning these are the perfect premium option for tackling coronavirus.
2. Surgical Mask Type IIR (great efficiency)
The next most effective type of face mask comes from a class of surgical mask known as ‘Type IIR’, which still offers a high level of protection. This mask has traditionally been used in surgical procedures where heavy to moderate amounts of fluid, spray and/or aerosols are produced. Rather than creating a seal, surgical masks are pinned around the ears.
Due to the amount of the face they cover, and the three layers of fabric, Type IIR masks actually filter a higher percentage of bacteria out of your airflow, hitting a minimum of 98%. However, the lack of seal leads to a great potential for bacteria entering from the sides. If you struggle with the KN95, these are a great alternative.
3. Disposable Mask Type I (good efficiency)
Our final masks only offer standard filtration, and low fluid resistance, but they still provide a minimum protection of 95% against incoming and outgoing bacteria. The drop in efficiency from Type IIR masks for Type I masks is accounted for by a decrease in splash resistance.
Traditionally used by patients attempting to halt the spread of viruses between wards, these protective disposable masks are still notable due to their affordability. Since they still provide solid filtration, their disposability actually makes them a great way of ensuring lack of contact with coronavirus due to how long it lives on surfaces. These are worth considering if you’re consistently in low risk situations.
Buying PPE face masks
Whatever face mask you decide to purchase, rest assured that the best place to buy PPE is PPE Solution. When you buy face masks, we always provide clear certification, and comprehensive explanations on how to use them. We also offer fully certified PPE in all forms, including defensive goggles, protective aprons, and face shields.