There are many different types of face masks or respirators other than N95 that can prevent an individual from inhaling infectious airborne particles. After the outbreak of COVID-19, the only global concern of all people is to protect themselves from life-threatening diseases and to prevent its spread. For preventive measures, physical barriers such as face masks, respirators, gloves, special gowns, social distancing all were taken under serious consideration.
The only way to fight against COVID-19 is to stop its spread. For this reason, N95 respirators grab global attention as they possess the efficiency to filter out up to 95% harmful non-oil-resistant particles including viruses, bacteria, dust, and fume. All health care practitioners, nurses, and first responders around the world were highly recommended to wear N95 respirators for safety and preventive measures.
During the pandemic, the demand for N95 respirators was increasing by every passing hour and due to such limited time frame, it was very difficult for the manufacturing companies to meet the global demand of N95 respirators and soon after a time came when the whole world has to face another big/horrible issue “SHORTAGE OF N95 RESPIRATORS”. To cope-up with this issue, different countries use different strategies in which decontamination and the use of other surgical masks instead of N95 are the highlighted ones. In this article, we will discuss those effective face masks other than N95.
Personal Protection Equipment (masks, respirators, gown, gloves)
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a type of protective clothing to ensure the safety of any chemical, electrical, airborne particle, and physical injury. The safety equipment includes face masks, respirators, gloves, special gowns, helmets, and goggles. N95 respirators and other surgical masks are also included in PPE and are highly recommended to be used in hospitals and any other work setting where the chances of getting an infection are higher.
Kinds of masks
During the pandemic, the Center for Disease (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) recommended every person to wear a face mask when they are out to work or at any store or at any public gathering area. The main purpose to wear a face mask is to prevent the spread of disease. There are many different kinds of masks used for different purposes include:
- Cloth face mask.
- N95 respirator.
- Surgical mask.
- Full face respirator.
- KN95 respirator.
- P100 respirator.
- Filtering face piece respirator.
- Full-length face shield.
Each of them has its own importance.
Differences between N95 masks and surgical masks
The basic purpose of all masks is to prevent the disease. Although, the face mask will not stop you from getting the virus but will definitely save you from contributing to the spread. After facing the shortage of N95 respirators, surgical masks are widely used in many setups to keep themselves safe and to prevent the disease. The question arises what is the main difference? This became the most frequently asked question. Anyone can be easily confused between these two because they both are respiratory protective in nature. However, there are some major differences between them.
The surgical mask which is commonly known as medical procedure masks is widely used by the health practitioners during surgeries. Surgical masks are designed to cover the nose and mouth area. Surgical masks are not sized for an individual fit. They are loose fitted. The primary function of the surgical mask is to prevent the patient from the wearer’s respiratory secretions and saliva. Surgical masks are protective in nature by working as a barrier for microorganisms, harmful airborne infections. The drawbacks of the surgical mask are that they are loose not tightly fitted so there is a high chance of micro-organism to get enter and they are not NIOSH approved.
Whereas N95 respirators are NIOSH approved highly efficient in filtering 95% harmful airborne infectious agent having a mass diameter of minimum 0.3 microns and larger. N95 respirator has a tight seal around your nose and mouth area. They are strongly recommended to be used in only health care setups.
Although both masks have some differences many experts found no difference in N95 respirators and surgical masks in the associated risk of respiratory infections.
Effective Surgical Mask:
Surgical masks are also in very high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone who wants to protect themselves from large airborne particles this mask is perfect for them. During the pandemic, surgical masks were also used as an alternative to N95 respirators. It is not particularly related to health care setups. We have some very effective surgical mask models and one of them will be discussed in the article. The surgical mask should be used according to the instruction given on the box.
3M Surgical Mask 1818
A 3M flat surgical mask is the most comfortable and well-known mask available at any online store. This surgical mask came in a blue color which attracts many customers. It can be easily fit on different face size people. It is also available with a face shield.
A 3M flat surgical mask is the most preferable surgical mask because it has horizontal ties which provide a large diameter and can be easily fit on any face size person. This quality increases facial comfort which makes it a highly demandable surgical mask.
This flat surgical mask has a very high comfort level in means of breathing. It contains a straight nose foam which allows the wearer to breathe comfortably without any resistance.