Which mask, an N95 mask, or a cloth mask, offers the best effectiveness from COVID-19? The answer: N95 face filtrating respirator
Well, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend an N95 mask, which filters 95% of particles, for public use because these masks are critical supplies for the healthcare workers of the nation. The best protection against COVID-19 is the N95.
Since both the CDC and World Health Organization recommend that individuals wear a cloth mask in public. When it is not possible to socially distance them, defined as at least 6 feet from other individuals.
A mask is not a substitute for social distance, but if you sneeze and expel droplets of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, it protects nearby individuals from possible infection.
So how good is a good mask made of cloth?
In a peer-reviewed study at the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine published in April, the best homemade cloth masks actually achieved better filtration (79 percent) than surgical masks (62 percent to 65 percent).
In the study, the best cloth masks with a thread count of 180 or more were made of heavyweight quilter cotton. It also proved effective to have masks with an even thicker thread, tightly woven like a batik, and double-layer masks with a basic cotton outer and flannel inner.
We don't want people to think that just any piece of cloth is good enough and have a false sense of security, "said Dr. Scott Segal, the originator of the study who chairs anesthesiology at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, N.C.," We don't want people to think that just any piece of cloth is good enough and have a false sense of security.
The main characteristics of the two:
Typically, N95 respirators are disposable and are commonly referred to as facepiece respirators that filter. As a negative pressure particulate respirator with a filter as an integral part of the facepiece or with the entire facepiece composed of the filtering medium, OSHA defines a filtering facepiece respirator.
In comparison to surgical masks or fabric face covers, N95 face filtrating respirators provide more protection against airborne particles because they are designed to be tight-fitting and can filter both large and small particles, like aerosols.
The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health ( NIOSH) tests and certifies N95 masks to ensure that at least 95 percent of airborne particles can be removed from the N95 face filtrating masks.
N95 is intended for tight-fitting applications. Normally, before using one, wearers must pass a fit test to confirm a proper seal. OSHA is encouraging employers to prioritize fit-testing for those who must use N95 respirators in high-hazard procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic because of concerns about a shortage of fit-testing kits and test solutions.
Some manufacturers supply facepiece respirators for surgical N95 filtering, which are cleared for fluid resistance by the FDA and also tested and certified as a respirator by NIOSH.
As protection from COVID-19 per the CDC, N95 respirators are not to be worn by the general public to help optimize the supply for most individual respirators.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised that people publicly wear cloth face covers to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, irrespective of whether they have signs of fever or other COVID-19. There is evidence that individuals who don't have symptoms can transmit COVID-19.
Wearing cloth masks helps reduce the spread of the virus, which is mainly transmitted through respiratory droplets produced when we speak, cough, or sneeze from person to person. In any place where you are likely to be around other individuals who are not in your household, including events and gatherings, public transport, and other public settings, the CDC recommends cloth face coverings.
In places where social distancing is difficult to maintain, especially in areas where significant community-based transmission occurs, masks are particularly important.
The qualities of Cloth mask which make easy to use but not effective:
Although cloth masks can help prevent COVID-19 and other diseases from spreading, they are not considered to be personal protective equipment (PPE).
It is intended to clean and reuse cloth masks, whereas surgical masks and disposable N95 respirators are not.
Cloth masks at home are easy to obtain and easy to make. Surgical masks and N95 respirators, on the other hand, cannot be made at home and, according to the CDC, should be considered vital supplies.
Many cloth face covers have one-way valves or vents that make it easier to exhale, but this type of mask does not prevent the wearer from transmitting COVID-19 to others (source control), according to the CDC, and thus it is not recommended by the CDC.
Can I Reuse and Wash My Cloth Mask and N95 mask?
Depending on the frequency and length of use, cloth face masks may be reused and should be regularly washed. Although we do not know how long a fabric coronavirus can survive, a recent study showed that a cardboard virus can survive for up to 24 hours. It is therefore recommended that, after each use, your machine wash and dry your cloth mask, if at all possible.
N95 masks should not be washed. It is probable that washing these masks will weaken them and render them useless. Instead, the CDC recommends changing these masks when they are soiled, damaged, or difficult to breathe through.