Along with physical distancing, and hand hygiene, face masks are believed to be an effective way to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the recent emergence of the Delta strain, understanding how to choose a high protection face mask has never been more important. But with so many different types of masks on the market, it can be difficult to decide which one is best. In this blog post we cover how to choose a mask that offers high protection and what are the important factors to think about when choosing a face mask that’s right for you.
What is a High Protection Face Mask?
A high protection face mask is worn to help prevent you from inhaling infectious particles. In recent times we’ve experienced several airborne viruses, and of course protecting ourselves from COVID-19 is never far from our mind. Evidence to date indicates that COVID-19 is principally transmitted by respiratory droplets. These droplets are exhaled by an infected person while sneezing, coughing, singing, talking and exhaling. The particles can then be inhaled by someone else, resulting in infection. To minimize the risk of infection by airborne viral particles, high protection face masks should be made from materials that offer maximum protection against airborne viral fragments, as well as providing comfort.
Why Face masks with four layers Protection are best
For maximum protection, face masks with at least four layers offer the most protection and safety. The four layers of the mask defend against any bacteria or virus entering through either nostrils or mouth.
Four layer face masks start with an outermost water-resistant layer, then the next layers below filter for bacteria and viruses; followed by filters to shield against UV rays. The layer closest to the skin is an absorbent layer.
What is a double layered melt blown in a face mask?
"Melt blowing" is a manufacturing process used to create a fabric called non-woven fabric. Surgical masks consist of two sheets of “nonwoven” fabric with a “melt-blown” layer in between. The filtering of air is provided by the melt-blown layer. Melt-blown material is also used in respirators, proving its effectiveness and trustworthiness as a filter.
What is Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE)?
Bacterial filtration efficiency is a measure of how well materials filter out bacteria. During a BFE test, the fabric of the facemask is securely clamped between a special cascade impactor and an aerosol chamber. A specific bacterium is added to the aerosol chamber and drawn through the mask using a vacuum.The material is tested to see how many bacteria it can protect against.
The test is repeated to find an average of how well the material does. Then, a rating is given based on the test results. If a mask has a rating of 99%, then it blocks 99% of droplets that come in contact with it. With SARS-CoV-2 (which causes COVID-19) spread through droplets, this test can be used as a gauge of how well the mask protects against such transmission.
What is Particle Filtration Efficiency (PFE)?
A second type of test commonly used for the protective effectiveness of Facemask fabric is Particle filtration efficiency (PFE). PFE is a measurement to determine how effective an air filter is at stopping airborne particles from passing through it.
Rather than bacteria, the material is tested against a specific aerosol such as a harmful fume or other airborne particulates. The better the filtration ability, the higher the grade of mask material.
What is Viral Filtration Efficiency (VFE)?
A third test used to grade face mask fabrics is Viral Filtration Efficiency (VFE). VFE is very similar to PFE and BFE, however the key difference is that rather than using bacteria or particulates to test again, an aerosol form of a specific virus is used.
Obviously, high VFE is essential in high-grade medical masks when it comes to protecting the wearer against viruses like COVID-19 and influenza.
What Are American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standards for Face Masks?
ASTM is an organization that sets standards for many different industries and products. They strive to make sure the products are safe and effective. ASTM safety masks are made of high quality fabrics and have been tested for safety in accordance with strict safety standards.
There are three level classification levels to guide wearers in selecting a facemask that is fit for purpose:
Level One: Suitable for use in basic medical procedures; no splashes, sprays, fluid contact
Level Two: Suitable for situations with moderate fluid contact or spray
Level Three: Suitable for procedures with high fluid spray or contact
High quality medical masks are generally graded as Level Three. This type of mask is ideal for people who want a lot of coverage. It protects the eyes, nose, mouth and throat
These safety face masks also come with exhalation valves which can be very helpful during intense periods when you need to breathe more air like during a pandemic event.
Your comfort and fit: Soft and Adjustable size earloops
During a pandemic you’ll wear a facemask frequently. Even when it’s not a pandemic, ere in Hong Kong facemasks are still frequently worn, That’s why comfort is a top priority when choosing a face mask.
Adjustable ear loops are essential if you want your mask to fit you perfectly. Masks that are too big can slide off, meaning the mask is failing to protect you. Masks that are too small can pull and rub on the backs of your ears. And of course, coming back to comfort, you want the ear loops to not only fit, but feel soft against your skin.
Premium quality brand NKCOS+, made In Hong Kong
Whether you are wearing a face mask to protect you from bacteria, a virus, or particulate matter, it’s important to choose a high quality safety face mask. If you are looking for a high protection face mask, we recommend safety masks that have these qualities: high protection fabrics and filters, four layers, compliant with ASTM Level 3 for maximum protection, and that is comfortable for wearing all day long.
Here at Oveco Industries Limited we only stock Premium quality brand NKCOS+,face masks, made here in Hong Kong, for maximum protection and comfort.
Ready for Hong Kong-made face masks with the highest level protection and comfort?