Welcome to our page where we are going to identify best masks for COVID and you will know about the difference between a surgical mask and other masks.
Here you will get all information related to:
1. What a Surgical Mask is?
A surgical mask is a medical mask that is designed in such a way so that it can be worn by medical professionals during nursing and surgery. It helps in preventing contamination of the patient or the surgical field by capturing the liquid droplets which are often expelled by users.
2. Who wears a surgical mask?
Surgical masks are generally worn by health professionals who work in medical centers or institutes. In East Asian countries, these masks are often used by general people to fight air pollution and prevent the spreading of airborne diseases.
However, due to the outbreak of deadly coronavirus all over the world, people have started wearing this mask regularly. As infected persons don’t show symptoms for up to 14 days after being infected, it becomes important for us to wear surgical masks when we step out from our homes to markets or other crowded places.
Thus, you should always wear a surgical mask to avoid being infected or infect others in crowded public settings such as supermarkets, trains, buses, subways, etc.
3. How to go for the right surgical masks?
During this time of the pandemic, various kinds of masks have shown up in the market like ordinary hygiene masks or a fashioned dust mask. However, these masks do not prevent us fully from the Covid 19 virus. Thus, you should always check very carefully whether you are placing an order for the right surgical mask or not with a 3 ply protective layer rather than the ordinary disposable dust masks, 2 ply hygiene masks, or fashion masks.
An effective surgical mask is generally built of 3 protective layers, namely, the inner non-woven layer (soft absorbent), the middle (melt-blown layer), and the outer non-woven layer (hydrophobic).
The function of each layer is very specific. The inner layer absorbs spit, sweat, and water. The middle layer acts as the filter to prohibit germs either to enter or exit through the mask. The outer layer repels body fluids, blood, and water.
Thus, we can easily say that the 3 ply surgical masks are almost the same as N95 respirators. It can easily prevent us from deadly respiratory diseases like the Covid 19 and other viral infections such as influenza.
4. Difference between other masks and surgical masks
A surgical mask is a 3 ply face mask with a powerful melt-blown layer (fluid-resistant) and can be the best masks for COVID. They are used by health professionals at the time of nursing or surgeries as these masks are proven to be as safe as the N95 respirators in preventing virus infections.
An N95 surgical mask is the combination of an ordinary surgical mask along with the N95 respirators. That is why they are not disposable and can be reused easily.
The fashion masks like the cotton or the fabric ones are made either from cotton or other spongy materials. They can be washed easily after every use and can be reused again and again. However, these masks can only protect us from pollution; they can never protect us from deadly viruses like coronavirus or bacteria.
An ordinary 2 ply face mask is also made from non-woven or fabric material but it lacks the most important middle melt-blown filter layer. Thus, it is also ineffective in preventing us from deadly viruses or bacteria.
Therefore, we can clearly say that the biggest difference between an original surgical mask and other ordinary face masks is the melt-blown filter layer which is present in the 3 ply surgical masks only.
5. How to identify a real surgical mask?
The 3 ply design of a surgical mask sometimes doesn’t tell us whether they are real or fake. Some of them might not include the melt-blown filter layer. Then how will you check it?
Firstly, tear down the face mask and check whether it contains 3 ply layers or not.
Secondly, check the 3 layers properly to see there is a melt-blown filter layer or not.
Now let us sum up the three steps through which you can easily identify whether the mask contains a melt-blown filter layer or not.
1. The melt-blown layer is very different from the other two non-woven layers. It almost looks like white paper.
2. Unlike paper, the melt-blown layer usually melts in case of fire. It has a very low flammability capacity and does not flame at all when comes in contact with fire. It only melts. However, any ordinary paper burns when it is exposed to fire.
3. Moreover, the melt-blown layers come with static electricity. If we tear the melt-blown layers into strips, we can easily feel the electrostatic absorption effect. We can also use stainless steel to absorb the melt-blown layer.
6. Difference between KN95, N95, KF94, and FFP2 mask rating
The N95 masks are often called NIOSH-approved N95 respirators and can be a good answer to “best masks for COVID”. These respirators have the capability of 95% filtration and are specifically certified by the U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Similarly, the other masks, that is, KN95, KF94, and FFP2 are as effective as N95 masks; the only difference is that they are being certified by different nations. The KN95 masks have a similar filtering efficiency to N95 masks but they are being certified in China. Similarly, KF94 masks are certified and approved by Korea and FFP2 masks by Europe.
To make understanding simple, we can put these respirators in an equation:
N100 (99.97%) = FFP3 (99.95%) > N95 (95%) = KN95 (95%) = FFP2 (94%) = KF94 (94%) > KN90 (90%).
7. Can surgical masks protect us from the covid-19 virus? – Best masks for COVID
Maybe you are wondering how can a surgical mask protect us from Covid 19 virus with such a melt-blown layer of gaps?
The novel Covid 19 virus is a super macro that is, about 100nm or 0.1um. However, this virus cannot exist independently. It can only be transmitted through close contacts, droplets, and secretions when sneezing. As the droplet’s size is about 5 microns and the melt-blown layer is a filter, the droplets carrying the virus will be absorbed on the surface. These droplets will not be able to infiltrate the mask due to the melt-blown filter layer. It all requires a properly fitted 3ply surgical mask with a melt-blown filter layer to make a barrier between your nose and mouth and the viruses.
8. Variants of Surgical Mask
Generally, the original surgical masks come in three ways to fit properly in our faces and make us comfortable.
1. The ear-loop surgical mask.
2. The tie-on surgical mask.
3. The headband surgical mask.
The ear-loop surgical mask comes with a string-like material attached to the mask, which we place behind our ears.
The tie-on face mask comes with four non-woven straps which we can adjust and tie behind our head.
The headband mask comes with an elastic strap that we can secure behind our heads so that the mask does not leave any discomfort around our ears.
9. Things you should follow while wearing Surgical Masks
1. You must clear your hands with proper alcohol-based soap or hand rub and water before putting on your mask.
2. Cover your whole nose and mouth properly and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
3. Never touch the mask while using it. If you do, then you must wash your hands immediately with alcohol-based soaps or hand rubs and water.
4. Dispose of the mask immediately if it is damp and use a new one. Do not reuse the single-use mask.
5. In case of removing the mask, remove it from behind. Never touch the front while removing. Discard the mask immediately after removing it in a closed bin and wash your hand immediately with alcohol-based soaps or hand rubs and water.
10. Do you require double masking if you have a proper surgical mask with you?
The answer to this question is no. Your 3ply surgical mask with a melt-blown filter layer is very effective and useful in preventing or blocking any virus either entering inside the mask or exit from within the mask. This design is definitely the best mask for COVID. Hence it is enough for you if you wear a single-use surgical mask and dispose of it after every single use.
Many people, nowadays, often wear double masks, that is a surgical mask as well as a cotton mask together to protect them from the deadly virus. Some are seen wearing the surgical mask inside and a cotton mask outside, again some are seen doing the opposite.
The only reason to wear double masks is the fitting criteria. If you think that your surgical mask is not fitting your face properly, then you can opt for the option of double masking to make sure the fitting is proper. But, if the single-use surgical mask of yours is well fitted, then there is no use of double masking at all. You can easily rely on your single-use surgical mask for protection measures against the deadly coronavirus disease.
I hope our page has provided you ample knowledge about various kinds of masks especially the original 3ply surgical masks with melt-blown filter layers.
Stay safe all of you…and thank you for visiting our page!