4 masks - which suits you best?
it’s been a long 20 months since Covid-19, Coronavirus and it’s Delta variant, have disrupted our lives. Everyone was wondering “when is it going to end?”
Omicron is extending it now. Here’s a wild guess: another variant will come along after that. IlHow will you protect yourself in public?
Social distance, wash your hands with soap and water, use sanitizer when you don’t have access to properly wash up, and mask up!
Which mask to wear is a big question these days. Let’s have a look at 4 different choices:
1. Reusable cotton: Many try to get away with nothing more than a scarf or washable cotton mask. Typically these cannot guard against the microscopic particles and bacteria in the air, let alone liquid particles from sneezes or that are blown at us from air ducts etc, pressurized mists if you will. Cost-effective sure, otherwise not very effective at protecting your health.
2. 3-ply isolation masks: these are typically purchased in most stores and make up the bulk of what is seen in the consumer marketplace. They are made up of 3 layers designed to keep particulate, bacterial and spray matter out, as well as contained (our own). Usually they are thin, cheap, unregulated and we have little idea of their real performance. Usually you’re relying on the retailer or distributor to screen the product for quality. Hopefully they understand what they are looking for.
3. 3-ply procedural/medical/surgical masks: there is a lot to comprehend and a lot of difference in this category. Typically there are Professional Standards organizations guidelines being adhered to in order to set the proper use, and “Level” of usage. The higher the ASTM level (1, 2, 3) the more stringent the standard that has been met and the better the mask. Higher particulate efficiency, bacterial efficiency and the ability to withstand higher liquid pressures.
4. N95 Respirators: like the category previous, not all N95’s are equal. There are varying quality and applications they are used for from highly dusty construction sights to clean-room surgical applications. Some question why a surgical N95 “only has a 95% particulate and bacterial efficacy vs a surgical 3-ply?”
The simple answer is: the protection level is actually higher based on tighter, sometimes customized fit, and the microscopic sizes of particles the can withstand are sometimes smaller. Hence, you’ll pay more for this solution.
Which is better for going out in public?
The Ontario government is saying N95, which is fine if you can afford them and have no issues breathing with them. Personally I have no issue with a good quality isolation mask and ensure I stay my distance when out, or to be certain of having good protection, spend a few cents per mask extra and have a Level 2 or 3 mask with me.
Check our selection of masks and contact us if you have questions. We can assist you purchasing by the box, case, pallet, even container loads.