Amidst the corona times, we all have been skeptical about what personal protective equipment will be the best choice for us. We have been introduced to many such types of equipment and have tried them. Some examples of the personal protective equipment that are being brought into use so that the wearer can be protected from airborne particles and any contamination through liquid are N95 respirators and surgical masks. The N95 respirators are being regulated by the CDC (The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention), NIOSH, which is short for National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and OSHA, whose expanded form is The Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Few Important Points to be kept in mind:
- One needs to acknowledge that the most effective way to prevent airborne transmission is by using a combination of meddles from all over the controls' ranking scale. Provided that the PPE is, of course, an integral part.
- The critical supplies like N95 respirators should be preferred. Still, one needs to be a responsible citizen and see to it that they try and make the best out of the minimalistic approach guidance given by the CDC(The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) to prioritize health care workers.
- The best way to be a responsible citizen and work in humankind's greater good, and thus preventing the illness, is by trying and not getting exposed to the virus. It involves having a better mask to prevent exposure outside of your house, maintaining social distancing, and frequently washing your hands.
To get to know if or not a mask filter in the surgical Mask is as effective as the N95 Respirators, let's dive into them in profoundly:
What are Surgical Masks?
- It can be defined as a loose fit, potentially disposable piece of personal protective equipment that assists in creating a physical between the nose and mouth of the person wearing it and the environment outside that can contain potential corona causing virus.
- They are regulated continuously by 21CFR 878.4040.
- These masks are advised strictly not to be labeled as surgical isolation dental or medical procedure masks.
- The surgical masks have a face shield, or they might not have a face shield.
- They are often commonly called by people face masks but not face masks have been designated as surgical masks.
- You can find the surgical masks prepared in variable levels of thickness and have varying abilities towards the protection from any contact with liquids.
- Many of its properties bind together for tips to make a face mask that protects you and allows you to breathe conveniently.
- Suppose a surgical mask is put on in the best possible manner. In that case, it can help you block large-particle droplets, splashes, sprays, or any splatter that may have in it a fair amount of germs (microbes and bacterias), and this is preventing your mouth and nose from getting contaminated.
- They also have the property of preventing others from unwanted exposure to your saliva and any other respiratory secretions.
- Though a surgical mask might prove to be efficient by blocking splashes and large-particle droplets and is a face mask by design, it in no way helps block small particles from the air that get transmitted through coughs, sneezes, or any other medical course of action.
- They also fail terribly in providing complete protection against germs and any other contaminant present in the air outside because they have a loose-fitting around your face, thus giving space to the air to pass between the surface of the Mask and your face.
- These masks are not made to be reused, i.e., used more than once. In any case, if your mass is slightly damaged or soiled, or you might be having trouble breathing through it, then you should immediately remove the face mask, discarding it safely, and replacing it with a new one.
What is an N95 respirator?
- N95 Respirator is also one of the personal protective equipment to achieve a very close fit to the face. A filter that efficiently prevents the airborne particles from entering it.
- The most specific feature about N95 masks is that the Respirator's edges are designed so that they form a compact seal around your nose and the mouth.
- The name speaks for itself. The Mask is capable of blocking 95% of tiny particles.
- Like every other Mask, they are also supposed to be disposable, but new guidelines have been provided to reuse them due to the crisis worldwide.
What makes Surgical mask filters not similar to that of N95 Respirator: A Comparison
- While the surgical Mask is a very loose fit and a disposable device made to create a barrier physically between the mouth and nose of the wearer and the outside environment from the contaminants present in the air, the N95 Respirator is another respiratory device that is used for preventing the contamination of the virus by incorporating a very close snug to the face.
- The N95 respirators are highly capable of providing better mask filtering than the surgical masks because they can filter out small and large particles from the air inhaled by the wearer.
From the above information, one can easily compare the effectiveness of surgical masks and N95 masks and buy the needed type of masks online. At the time of this pandemic, using these masks has become indispensable.