A Quick Guide to Choosing the Right Face Mask

Introduction

The latest surge of the Omicron variant has made many people restock their supply of masks to wear when they are outdoors. And, contrary to the first days of the pandemic when there was a global shortage of masks, buyers today have a plethora of options to choose from. These include reusable cloth masks, respirators or ffp2 masks. These come in several colors like ffp2 maske rot and ffp2 maske blau, among other shades.

Although ffp2 masks offer superior protection to even very fine particles, experts advise that any mask is better than no mask at all. 

Apart from social distancing, masking up is the most effective method of preventing virus transmission. A disposable mask means one of the three types of masks: respirators masks like N95 or KN95 (the European equivalent is FFP2 range of masks), medical-grade masks, or non-medical grade disposable face masks. In this article, we will talk about respirators and offer some tips about how to choose the right one. 

Respirators

Apart from medical and non-medical face coverings, there is also another type of mask called respirators. These are famously known as N95 (the US version) and KN95 (the Chinese version). The European equivalent respirators are called FFP masks. These masks are manufactured to give you a near-perfect facial fit. They are also very efficient in filtering airborne particles. When being manufactured, respirators abide by country-specific standards. They are also regulated by governing bodies that are country-specific. 

N95s, for example, are regulated by NIOSH. The designation of N95 means that these masks have been tested and proven to filter 95% of viruses, bacteria, and other airborne particles as little as 0.3 microns. But the measurements should not put you off. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stress that n95 and FFP masks can capture smaller particles measuring 0.1 microns. This includes the SARS-Cov-2 virus that causes COVID-19. 

Other regions and countries have their own standards. In Europe, for example, the equivalent of N095 respirator is FFP2 maske blau. These masks are approved by the EU and have a certification that means they meet the highest standards of filtration. FFP2 masks are also now available in many shops and come in a plethora of colors, which include the FFP2 maske rot and other shades. 

Tips for Shopping Disposable Masks

When choosing disposable face masks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you go with models that provide:

  • A nose wire
  • A snug fit over your mouth and nose to prevent leaks
  • Doesn’t have an exhalation valve
  • Several layers of nonwoven material. According to experts, you should choose a mask that has a minimum of 2-ply, but it could be best if you get a three-ply.

Apart from the guidelines by the CDC, other things that you need to look for in your mask include an inner lining that has antibacterial and moisture-wicking properties. And while any mask is infinitely better than no mask at all, FFP2 give you better protection.

Although all surgical masks can be said to be face masks, the reverse is not true. When shopping for a face mask, look on the label to know whether it is nonmedical or medical grade. This ensures you get the right mask for your needs. 

Why wear a face mask?

Masks are highly effective in curbing the spread of viruses. According to a CDC study that was released in February 2020, wearing a mask between two people reduces by 95% the risk of transmitting the virus by one person to another. 

While COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots have been administered to millions of people, the CDC still advises members of the public to wear masks at all times when in public spaces that expose them to transmission risks. Those who have underlying medical conditions, medically known as co-mobilities, should wear masks even more strictly. Whether vaccinated or not, everyone needs to wear a mask inside transportation hubs or on public transportation. However, you are free to remove it when you are in open-air areas, for example, outside the ferry deck. 

For most people, the main worry is that the mask protects them- the wearers. But wearing a mask also protects those around you. Because people with COVID-19 can pass the virus to other people even when they don’t have symptoms, it’s important to wear a mask to prevent you from transmitting the virus to someone that may get seriously sick. Also, you could pass it to a person who then passes it on to other people, increasing the virus spread. That is why the CDC recommends that you wear a mask when in public places like music festivals, or large malls. And you don’t need to be sick to wear a mask. Wear an ffp2 maske blau whether you feel good or not. Even if you aren’t worried about contracting the virus, you should still wear it.

How do disposable masks work?

Just like reusable cloth-based face masks, disposable respirators blocks out viral particles in the air and protect those around you. This reduces significantly the chance of spreading the virus by someone who has COVID-19. Masks also help protect the wearer from breathing in harmful particles. Also, wearing masks ensures that the wearer does not touch a contaminated surface and then touch their mouth, eyes, or nose.

Because the FDA does not regulate nonmedical disposable masks, they don’t follow a uniform design standard. However, the majority of these respirators will have a minimum of two layers. However, medical-grade face coverings are FDA-regulated, meaning they adhere to specific guidelines and standards. The outermost layer is water-repellent; a feature that ensures it protects the wearer against large droplets. The middle layer typically contains an antibacterial filter, while the innermost layer absorbs moisture from the air we breathe, in addition to reducing the risk of skin irritation.

Conclusion

Masks are a novel idea for most people. It’s only recently that the general public began to wear them as a measure of staying safe from COVID-19. As such, a lot of people still don’t fully understand them. Unlike during the early times of the pandemic, masks are in large supply today and can be found in most shops. Additionally, they come in various colors to complement your fashion sense. Whether you want an ffp2 maske rot or ffp2 maske blau, you can be sure there is something for you.

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Author Of this post: Cristina Macias
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