The Common Sense of Face Masks
With the outbreak of coronavirus (covid-19) nowadays, people are in panic mode. There have been so many reported cases of face masks shortage in different parts of the world. One of the ways to avoid the contagion of the said virus is the proper wearing of the proper type of face masks. In this article, we shall be discussing the different types of face masks and why, when, and how to use them. Most importantly, the 2 general types of face mask - surgical and N95 respirators - are given high emphasis in this article.
What are the types of face masks?
People are being protective of themselves and their loved ones form the contagion of coronavirus. To do this, they wear masks. Here are the 3 types of face masks:
- P100 respirator/gas mask.
This mask is usually used by people who do craftworks such as painting and woodwork. Most laborers who are exposed to different chemicals such as lead, asbestos, and others are highly using this type of mask. It is reusable and can be bought for as much as $25-$50.
- Full-face respirator or powered air-purifying respirator.
This mask is used by painters or in an environment where the person concerned needs to be protected from harmful gas and any form of vapor. This mask is powered and supplies air for the wearer. This could be more expensive than other types of the mask due to its features. The price range starts at around $100 and is very much reusable. This mask is highly recommended for people who have trouble breathing with the use of another face mask.
- Self-contained breathing apparatus.
This is used by firefighters who are in constant war with flames. It is highly protecting the wearer from any dangerous and fatal pollution and smoke. This costs a lot which may reach from prices $2,500-$4000. This type of mask is not suitable for covid-19 purposes.
On the other hand, there are 2 general and commonly used face masks that are highly suitable to prevent the spread of coronavirus. They are the N95 respirator and the common surgical mask.
N95 respirators are that it fits perfectly on your face. The snuggle is enough to keep any form of particles to enter your respiratory system. This type of mask has the ability to filtering commonly airborne particles. Also, it is usually used when the surrounding showcases the poor quality of air which can be primarily caused by air pollution, recent smoke caused by wildfire, and other environmental issues.
How small is the coronavirus particle?
In diameter, the coronavirus itself is a tiny particle that measures about .05-0.2 microns. N95 respirators help in the prevention of taking in particles through breathing up to 0.3 microns. This mask is quite enough to filter out the deadly virus and particles going in through your respiratory.
At most, the N95 respirators can block out up to 95% of the particles in the surrounding area. This means that the mask is capable of filtering out droplets that are caused by the coronavirus.
When to use N95 respirators?
Workers in the health industry are required to wear masks when they go to work. However, there are specific instances that require them to use N95 respirators.
Annually, these workers undergo a test to check whether they are fit to use the N95 respirators. They spray something at your face. When you cough after being sprayed, that means you are required to use the respirators.
An instance like that means your immune system may be weak at the moment and you are posing a threat to your patients. Therefore, wearing the N95 respirator is highly recommended for the safety of the patient and the health worker. This enables the worker to work freely, without being harmed nor harming any people they get in contact with.
The surgical mask is the most common and cheaper mask available in public. It can be bought at any pharmaceutical stores at a cheaper price compared to N95 respirators.
This mask keeps any form of droplets from entering one’s mouth. Primarily speaking, the surgical mask is designed as a physical barrier to keep anyone from spreading any forms of mouth-borne diseases.
A surgical mask is not as tightly bound in one’s mouth compared to N95 respirators. There are openings on the edges of the mask as it is worn by the wearer.
It should be noted that surgical masks must be worn properly at all times. One common mistake that wearers do is loosen up their mask and put it on the side or below their chin to touch their faces. This defies the purpose of wearing the surgical mask for it breaks the barrier which the mask is supposed to create.
With surgical masks being common and more affordable, a lot of people are seen wearing them on the streets.
What are the differences between the surgical mask and N95 respirators?
There are a few differences between the two masks. They are:
Facial fit - the surgical mask does not offer a perfect fit for the wearer. It is noticeable that the edges are loose. However, the N95 respirators offer a great and comfortable snug around the face.
Wearers - N95 masks are often used in healthcare settings. Therefore, most employees in health industry are highly advised to use the N95 respirators. On the other hand, surgical masks are used by the public. They are often called simply the “face mask”.
iPlemo Hospital Grade 3 Layer Face Mask
Another type of face mask is the iPlemo hospital-grade 3 layer face mask. This mask is not just good for the use of health care workers, but for the public as well. Regardless if you are a student, a street vendor, or a hospital staff, this mask is suited for you.
It features a 3-layer non-woven fabric that is breathable for the wearer. It also has a capacity of filtering particles in the middle of its layers. This makes it very suitable for those who have irritable and sensitive skin. Its earloops are also adjustable and elastic which offers great comfort.
B.F.E. & P.F.E
It's B.F.E. and P.F.E. up to 98% is a high standard feature of a mask that contains filtration at its maximum level. This means that the air breathed by the wearer is filtered which eventually helps maintain a healthy respiratory function.
Another feature of iPlemo face mask is it has a strong 3 layers of fabric. This gives great potential for the particles to be filtered out evenly. The microparticles are then isolated and filtered away from entering your air passage.
Best for Highly Sensitive Skin
With iPlemo hospital-grade 3 layer face mask, those who suffer from itchiness and skin irritation can achieve comfort while wearing the mask. The mask is free from fiberglass which does not cause any sort of irritation on the skin.
Who should wear masks?
People who are healthy and are not medically diagnosed with any form of the disease may not need to wear masks. However, they can only wear masks if they are taking care of someone who is sick.
You may also wear masks if you have some symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and fever. Those who have weak immune systems, especially the children and the old, are highly advised to wear masks.
How to put on, use, take, off and dispose of the mask?
Some steps will help you in how to put on, use, take off, and dispose of your masks. Here are the following:
- Before wearing the mask, you have to make sure that your hands are clean. Wash your hands with soap and water. Applying an alcohol-based sanitizer would be more effective in cleaning your hands.
- Make sure to check on some openings and gaps on your face as you wear your mask. The mouth and nose are the focal points to cover in your face.
- Once your mask is on, always keep in mind to avoid touching it. If you have to touch your mask to adjust it, make sure to wash and sanitize your hands again before doing so.
- Once you notice that your mask is moist and damp, make sure to replace it with a new one. Never reuse the old mask that you have already worn before.
- In removing the mask, make sure that you are pulling it out from the inside. Never touch the front part of the mask since that is the part of the mask that filters any unwanted particles. After taking it off, make sure to wash your hands with soap and water. Sanitizing your hands before and after wearing the mask is of great necessity.
All in all, we should all be aware of the dangers that surround our health, especially with the deadly contagion of coronavirus (covid-19) nowadays. We must recognize the fact that knowing the proper use of the face mask may not be enough to fight the deadly disease. Entire caution in our self, our health, and our environment is also highly suggested. With proper knowledge and correct practice with a healthy lifestyle, we can all defeat this deadly contagion of the coronavirus.