With new variations coming out and the end not yet in sight, face masks have become popular buys among people from all walks of life. Vaccines are now available but the number of cases continues to rise. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, continues to take the lives of people around the world. The threat of COVID-19 is real, yet you can minimize your risk of getting the virus by wearing a face mask, practicing social distancing, and keeping your hands clean.
There are different types of face masks on the market and each one is unique. The N95 mask is used by healthcare workers and those in other sectors to protect them from potential hazards in the environment. There are several N95 mask models and it pays to know them properly to identify the appropriate N95 mask for you.
What is an N95 mask?
An N95 mask is a kind of personal protective equipment (PPE) commonly used by healthcare staff to protect from tiny airborne particles that they may inhale. An N95 mask, when used properly, provides a close facial fit on the user’s face. The edges of an N95 mask create a seal over the mouth and nose and prevent air leaks that may carry harmful pathogens. When you breathe in, most of the inhaled air goes to the filter of the N95 mask.
Comparing the 1860 N95 mask and 8516 N95 mask
The 1860 N95 mask and 8516 N95 masks are just two of the many N95 mask models available. Let’s get to know the 1860 N95 mask and 8516 N95 masks and see which one is appropriate for you.
The 1860 N95 mask is a disposable NIOSH-approved N95 mask that is also cleared by the FDA as a surgical mask. It protects the user from certain airborne particles. The 1860 N95 mask is fluid-resistant to sprays and splashes of blood and other liquid materials that may carry infectious organisms.
The 1860 N95 mask is considered a respiratory protective device that meets CDC guidelines for tuberculosis exposure control. As a disposable N95 mask, it helps reduce the user’s exposure to particulate matter generated by medical instruments, laser technology, and electrocautery.
According to ASTM F2101, the 1860 N95 mask has 99 percent bacterial filtration efficiency. The components of the 1860 N95 mask do not contain any form of natural rubber latex. Furthermore, the mask has a collapse-resistant shape design and comes with braided headbands and nose foam. The 1860 N95 mask is lightweight and comfortable to wear.
The 1860 N95 mask is ideally worn in operating rooms, TB wards, Labor and Delivery, laboratories, and when providing care to infectious patients. It is widely used among healthcare workers, especially with the ongoing pandemic.
The 8516 N95 mask is a disposable particulate respirator that provides protection from some non-oil based particles. It has a 3M Cool Flow Valve for additional comfort.
The 8516 N95 masks are created for use in the aluminum industry and work sites where humidity and heat are present. It is also ideally used for lengthy wear periods where nuisance levels of acid gases such as chlorine, hydrogen fluoride, and/or sulfur dioxide may be present.
The 8516 N95 mask is a lightweight, disposable respirator that provides quality respiratory protection against specific non-oil based particles. The mask features a microfiber filter media that is electrostatically charged for ease of breathing. The 3M Cool Flow Exhalation Valve minimizes the build-up of heat in the respirator to make the wearer more comfortable.
The soft inner material of the 8516 N95 masks gives added comfort, while its cup shape design makes the mask spacious and durable. Additionally, the 8516 N95 masks have braided straps and an M Noseclip for easy adjustment and better comfort.
The 8516 N95 masks are ideally worn in chemical processing, glass etching, paper processing, and brewing operations among others.
What you should know before wearing an N95 mask
Before using an N95 mask, it is important to read and understand the manufacturer's instructions on how to use the mask. Similarly, your employer has to provide you with proper training before using an N95 mask. A fit test should be done to check if the N95 mask has a good seal on the face. It is also important to get medical clearance to ensure you are safe to use this type of face mask.
Misuse of N95 masks gives false assurance and may result in contamination. Meanwhile, the proper use of N95 masks is essential in achieving optimal protection and preventing sickness or even death.
Where to get your N95 masks
Once you have identified the type of N95 mask that is appropriate for you and the type of work you do, make sure to get your N95 mask from a reliable shop. Do not fall for counterfeit N95 masks that are not as effective as genuine ones.
You may shop for N95 masks in retail stores or pharmacies, but you may get a better deal as well as have more options if you shop online. And if you are a good online shopper, you should be able to find free shipping and other discounts on your N95 mask purchase.
N95 masks and other PPEs can protect you from environmental hazards that may endanger your life. Whether for COVID protection or protection from chemicals and other contaminants, you should always use the right face mask. Finally, choose your PPEs wisely and always handle them correctly to fully enjoy what they have to offer.