As the OMicron variant of COVID-19 surges across the country and disrupts the resumption of work, many people are wondering how they can keep themselves and their families safe. Many experts have advocated the wearing of masks since the early days of the Novel Coronavirus pandemic. “The value of a mask depends on two key metrics: filtration and fit,
Masks fall into the following categories according to their protective effectiveness. In terms of protection efficiency: Class 1 is greater than Class 2 and Class 3, Class 2 is greater than Class 3
Class I: N95, KF94 and KN95 respirators
1. N95(headband strap) masks are approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Users can search for NIOSH-approved respirators and information about them at any time on the CDC website.
2. The KN95 (earloop strap) respirator is manufactured in China and tested to meet international standards, while the KF94(fish-mouth shape & Earloop[ strap) comes from a certified manufacturer in South Korea.
All three filter almost identically and are made of a statically charged material that prevents inhalation of virus particles.
Class II: surgical masks or non-surgical surgical masks
A simple blue surgical mask is always a good option if the average user can’t find something more advanced, one expert said. They are also made of statically charged material, but are looser than the N95.
If you want to do more research ona particular mask, ASTM International has developed a new standard, with input from NIOSH, to test filtration efficiency and breathability. You can find a list of tested products on the CDC website.
Class III: three-layer cloth masks (mostly handmade, so the defensive effect is not as good as the above two types of masks)
In conclusion “Let’s say we have a cloth mask that’s 50 percent effective, you and I both wear one, and the combined efficiency through the two filters is 75 percent. “Two surgical masks is 70 percent, and the combined efficiency is 91 percent,” Allen said.
The choice of mask should be based on the actual situation. “N95 masks are definitely a good choice when compared to other low-protection masks when working and traveling in high-risk environments. But in low-risk areas, disposable surgical masks are just fine. At the same time, frequent use of disinfectant hand washing is also a good living habit in the epidemic.