How does breathability compare between N95 masks and surgical masks?

As soon as the Covid-19 pandemic inflicted the world, it was quite clear in many countries that they are lagging in the supply of personal protective equipment like N95 masks for their medical Health Care workers and the citizens of the country. 

Reaching the month of February, every country was somehow in a great shortage for the personal protective vital for the frontline workers and the medical health care professionals because of the operations and dealing with them in one way or the other. Reaching the mid of April, everyone saw the crisis that came forward due to the shortage of N95 respirators in many different countries.

As the shortage for personal protective equipment continued for a while and is still being continued, the authorities in the World Health Organization started to recommend the medical health care workers to start using the surgical mask for medical masks that are available when they perform surgery is accepted so that the N95 respirators can be preserved and used when necessary and is an emergency. Because the healthcare workers have been recommended surgical masks, it is indispensable to understand the differences and similarities in the surgical mask and then it for our own self and security.

The authorities like NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) and CDA (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) have advised to the citizens all over the world that as a precaution towards the rapidly spread covid-19 virus which is a result of the newly found strain of coronavirus, they are asked to wear a mask in public if they have the symptoms below,

  • Someone who has a high fever
  • Someone who is experiencing cough
  • Someone whose nose has been running for quite a while now
  • Someone with any respiratory disease symptoms

Here through this article, we will discuss the similarities and differences between the Surgical Masks and the N95 respirators, especially in the field of breathability that they are providing. Below are some of the points that we will be touching so that we can come to a conclusion that which mask provides the wearer with more breathability,

  • What are Surgical Masks?
  • About the N95 Respirators
  • What are the similarities between the two masks?
  • What are the differences between the two masks?
  • Which provides better breathability?

What are Surgical Masks?

When we are attached to compare two different kinds of products, be it masks, we need to be aware of what the product we are trying to compare is, therefore, here in the points below. We will be trying to unravel the mysteries of the surgical masks. Below are some of the points that are very necessary to make you aware about the surgical masks,

  • The surgical masks are made out of three layers. These three layers are produced from synthetic fiber. This synthetic fiber is derived by melt blowing the polymer. The polymer might be polypropylene in most of the cases.
  • These masks are a simple mask used in hospital settings when there is some surgery being performed or any other such medical task that involves fluid being exchanged. Therefore they provide security against infections that can be transmitted from fluids.

About the N95 Respirators

This is another product in the respirator market present in the industry, and there will be trying to understand what it is so that we can compare both the products very well. Below are some points about N95 respirators that will give you the exact idea of what actually the N95 respirators are and what their work is,

  • These masks are known to provide 95% protection against 0.3-micron diameter particles present in the environment. The virus does not get spread in the environment and can be controlled easily.
  • These masks are provided certification by the higher authority for healthcare management in the United States of America, named the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Care, and have its short form as NIOSH.

What are the similarities between the two masks?

When comparing two products, it is not necessary that we only look at the differences between them. Still, we also need to look at the similarities so we can positively use the products and not get paranoid about them. Below are some of the points that make the to mask the N95 respirators and the surgical mask similar,

  • The surgical masks are three layers of protection, and the latter also provides you with three layers of protection.
  • The fabric present in the filter media of N95 respirators and the surgical masks are made from non woven fabric extracted by melt blowing the polymer polypropylene.

What are the differences between the two masks?

Once we have gone through the similarities present in both, we must know the difference is present in the mask so that we can be very well sure that which mask fits better for the conditions we want to use them in. 

The N95 respirators are tested and certified by the national institute of occupational safety and health. One of the biggest healthcare management authorities present in the United States of America wild the surgical masks are provided certification by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) department. Therefore we surely know that the N95 respirators are more efficient than the surgical masks.

Which provides better breathability?

When it comes to the breathability provided by both the masks, we can say that the breathability levels provided by the surgical mask plan not met by the N95 respirators do not provide greater visibility. Still, the surgical mask only provides greater breathability than the N95 respirators because they are not Custom-fit to your face structure.

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