Experts of all sorts now say face masks are a must to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Someone you meet could have the coronavirus and not realize it. Not all masks work equally well, however, researchers have discovered. Here are some of the most important features to look for when choosing a mask, according to the latest conclusions.
Mask Types and Filtering Effectiveness
When it comes to what types of masks are best, there are different levels of protection. A Lancet study shows 96% protection from N95 masks with single layer cloth masks offering as little as 5% protection. N95 masks are considered the best of the best but they may be hard to find because healthcare workers are the top priority due to their high exposure to COVID. Where does that leave you? Masks with an FDA 510k approved N95 substantial equivalent mask which passes and even exceeds all the FDA tests required for an N95 mask.
“There is no reason for consumers to have such a low level of protection with a cloth mask when N95 substantial equivalent masks are now becoming available in the 100s of millions and bring an average of 97% protection to consumers,” says COVID Educator and former TV Chief Medical correspondent Bob Arnot, MD.
“N95 and surgical masks are the most effective at preventing the spread of coronavirus—that’s why everyone should reserve them for healthcare workers,” adds Dr. Arnot. “The good news is, saving N95 masks for healthcare workers doesn’t leave you vulnerable: you just need to choose a mask that’s designed to deliver the protection and filtration properties of these masks.”
Breathability Is Important
Your mask needs to allow enough air flow that you don’t struggle to breathe, since you’re more likely to keep your mask on if you’re comfortable whether you are at the gym or shopping at your local market. Ideally, the air flow should be through the weave and not through gaps around the mouth or eyes.
A face mask has good breathability when the wearer’s breath can filter through the material. If it’s too dense, air escapes out the sides and doesn’t let the mask do its job. The mask has to catch water droplets from coughs, sneezes, and talking and protect against the minute airborne virus. Look for nano-fiber material for both lightweight breathability and protection from pathogens.
Mask quality counts
COVID is continuing to surge even with masking.
“Mask quality and usage is very important. Many masks are of such poor quality that they fail to protect with prolonged exposure in stale air,” says Dr. Arnot. “People don’t realize that a single layer cotton mask may provide only 5% protection versus 97.6% on average for N95 substantial equivalents. I was looking for masks to protect myself, my family and my community and came across AirQueen.com’s FDA 510k approved N95 substantial equivalent. AirQueen.com’s next generation technology brings an average of 97% protection, which helps protect you and those around you.” I’ve bought over 2000 for local schools and family. The customer service has been superb.
“N95 and surgical masks are the most effective at preventing the spread of coronavirus—that’s why everyone should reserve them for healthcare workers,” advises Dr. Arnot. “The good news is, saving N95 masks for health-care workers doesn’t leave you vulnerable: you just need to choose a mask that’s designed to mimic the protection and filtration properties of these masks.
Air Queen masks are made of nano-fiber that’s lightweight, comfortable, and arranged in a fishnet matrix for optimal filtration, durability and breathability. This, coupled with its excellent filtration protection, puts it on the same tier as the high-grade PPE healthcare workers use. Best of all, AirQueen.com also offers a 75% ethanol spray which lets you clean the mask up to 10 times with full efficacy making it very affordable, about 20 cents a day.” Shoppers applying the code ‘SAFE’ at AirQueen.com will receive a 10% discount.
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