What does the CDC say about using carbon filters with masks?

CDC

CDC stands for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, it is a federal agency of the United States whose main objective is to keep the people of the United States of America (USA) and international countries safe by recommending ways to control and prevent disease. The primary focus of CDC is on infectious disease, health promotion, environmental health, and injury prevention to improve the health of the people of the United States. 

When the novel coronavirus broke out, the CDC had recommended some precautionary measures to the public to keep them safe from this lethal disease; this is how the CDC works. The CDC is under the Department of Health and Human Services. The CDC runs a series of tests to check the effectiveness of a product. The CDC approves the product if it passes the tests for being safe, effective, and efficient for the public.

Various medical experts have recommended the use of N95 respirators during the novel coronavirus; this is because N95 respirators are 95 percent effective at the filtration of injurious airborne particles like dust, dirt, bacteria, infectious agents, and viral infections, etc. NIOSH — National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health — had run a series of tests to check whether the N95 respirator is effective or not. It is one of the only respirators that has been approved by NIOSH for being effective against aerosols and harmful airborne particles.

The N95 respirators have been in demand since the pandemic came to the United States; this is because of the protection the N95 respirator offers to the wearer. There are various places to purchase an N95 respirator. However, the N95 respirators have gone short due to the protection it offers to the wearer. Moreover, there has been a scarcity of N95 respirators since the pandemic began. 

People cannot purchase N95 respirators because of the scarcity of N95 respirators. Therefore, there are various alternatives to the N95 respirators like surgical masks, cloth masks, and a plethora of other masks. Similar to that, carbon filtered masks are one of them. One of the alternatives of the N95 respirator is a carbon filtered mask.

Carbon filtered mask

Similar to other masks, the carbon filtered mask is efficient at filtering out airborne particles that could harm the health of an individual. These airborne particles include dust, dirt, bacteria, and infectious agents, etc. The only difference between other masks and the carbon filtered mask is that the carbon filtered mask has a carbon filter. The carbon filter is used for the purification of air that the wearer inhales. The carbon filter purifies the air, and the carbon filter either traps or filters out harmful airborne particles.

The CDC on the usage of carbon filters with masks

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) had put out a few guidelines in February, where they put out the list of the most indispensable respirators to deal with this lethal pandemic. The carbon filtered mask was not included in the list of the most useful respirators for protection against COVID-19. However, the KN95 respirators and FFP series of masks were included in that list of most indispensable respirators. 

It is safe for an individual to use the carbon filtered respirator although it was not included in the list of the most useful respirators. Carbon filtered masks are used in places where the quality level of the air is bad and the pollution is severe. Therefore, the carbon filtered mask has a carbon filter that filters out or traps harmful airborne particles from entering an individual’s body. The effectiveness and efficiency of carbon filtered masks are impeccable. 

Although the carbon filtered masks are good, they are not as effective as the N95 respirator. There is an acute shortage of N95 respirators at hospitals. Healthcare professionals — who are putting their lives on the line to save the infected patients — do not have an adequate amount of N95 respirators at their healthcare facilities. Therefore, healthcare providers like doctors, nurses, and physicians are getting infected because of the scarcity of the novel coronavirus. 

Because of an immense demand for N95 respirators — hospitals have run out of them — this has led to a shortage of N95 respirators in the United States. While the effectiveness of the carbon filter mask is questionable — there are, however, some respirators that can combat the novel coronavirus. One of those respirators is the KN95 respirator. The KN95 respirator is the Chinese version of the N95 respirator.

The KN95 respirator is effective at keeping an individual safe from infectious agents, viral infections, and harmful diseases. It is as effective as the N95 respirator. Similar to NIOSH — there is a Chinese agency that has approved the use of KN95 respirators. In addition to that, the KN95 respirators have proven their significance against aerosols and harmful airborne particles that are similar to that of the novel coronavirus. 

Conclusion

The CDC had put out a list of the best respirators to purchase against the novel coronavirus. The carbon filter mask was not included in the list. There were, however, KN95 respirators and N95 respirators in that list of the best respirators. The N95 respirator is the best respirator to combat COVID-19 even though the carbon filter mask is good. The carbon filter masks are good against harmful airborne particles like dust, dirt, bacteria, infectious agents, and viral infections, etc.

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