With the outbreak of coronavirus, a lot of people are not getting enough masks to use. Proper reuse of masks is also important in order to protect yourself from the spread of virus. Reuse means using same mask for multiple times when there is no concern or not any emergency use.
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Masks that protect from coronavirus
Cotton and surgical masks can protect the wearer by biological fluids, but they are not effective as respirators. When it comes to N95, it can protect the wearer from airborne infection that is from contamination by virus like coronavirus, H1N1 and others.
Respiratory masks are PPE (personal protective equipment) that prevent inhaling aerosols and gases like mist, smoke, dust and other health hazards.
About N95 masks
N95 or N95 filter respiratory mask is formulated by National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Many countries throughout the world have subsequent standards including European Union – FFP2, South Korea – KF94, China – KN95 and Japan – RS2/RL2.
The meaning of 95 is that these masks can filter 95% or over small particles (0.3 micron levels). According to protection ability N95 masks are most effective than others like surgical masks, common medical and cotton masks.
How long does N95 masks can be used?
According to research studies, medical protective face masks like N95 are more efficient in protecting from coronavirus. The research studies show that N95 masks can maintain filtration efficiency of 95% for 48 hours and not in change of respiratory resistance while, filtration efficiency of 94.7% is maintained for 72 hours.
Recommendations for extended use of respirators
Extended use or over reuse is preferential as it is less touched; therefore there is less risk of transmission of virus. Function and fit are the key factors that you need to consider when using masks for a long time.
Respirators will function for up to 8 hours continuously depending on their specifications. In unhygienic conditions respiratory masks will get contaminated. You can use N95 respiratory masks for long hours while working in offices, stores and other places.
- Discard N95 masks contaminated with nasal or respiratory secretions, blood and other fluids.
- Replace the mask immediately after aerosol generating process.
- Make use of clean protective shields over N95 masks to reduce contamination on surface.
- Wash your hands with water and soap or alcohol containing sanitizer before as well as after adjusting your respirator.
- Avoid touching inside of respirator, if you touch it unintentionally, discard it and wash your hands properly.
- Replace the mask in case the mask has damaged or if it is not fitting properly.
Respirators will also get contaminated from other pathogens through indirect or direct contact. Touching contaminated respiration is also a primary hazard of getting infected. So, make use of face masks in a right way and replace your mask, if needed.
There are many online suppliers who sell effective masks, gather information, choose the best one and order today to reduce the contact transmission of novel coronavirus and to stay safe.