How to Buy A Medical Face Mask Correctly?
What mask should I choose?
There are many types of masks sold outside, but not all masks are protective.
1. Medical protective mask (N95)
The N95 mask is one of nine anti-particulate masks certified by NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health). The biggest feature is that it can prevent droplet infection caused by patients.
There are two types of ordinary N95 masks, with and without a breathing valve. Breathing valves are thought to reduce the protection against viruses. Without breathers, they are less breathable and breathe harder. They should not be worn for a long time. When you buy, you can choose according to the actual situation.
Warm reminder: “N95” is not the name of a mask brand, but a certification standard. The “bacterial filtration >95%” stated on some mask packaging does not mean that this is a N95 protective mask.
In addition, there is no so-called “3M” standard mask. 3M is just a brand of masks. Not all 3M masks can reach N95 protection level.
2. Medical surgical mask
Medical surgical masks are commonly used medical masks in the operating room and other environments where there is a risk of bodily fluids and blood splashes. They can block blood and bodily fluids from passing through the masks and contaminate the wearer. At the same time, the filtration efficiency of bacteria should be higher than 95%, but the filtration efficiency of particles is limited. , And mostly rectangular design, the degree of closeness to the face is not as tight as medical protective masks.
3. Disposable Medical Mask
Ordinary medical masks have many names. Medical masks without the words “protection” and “surgical” on their names are all ordinary medical masks. Masks of this level generally do not require barrier effect on blood, so they are only suitable for wearing in general medical environments.
4. Ordinary mask
The material of ordinary masks may be cotton, gauze, sponge, canvas, and velvet. The material itself is not dense enough to prevent infection.
As for how to choose, the first thing to know is that COVID-19 often exists in droplets. Ordinary masks, surgical masks, etc. can still block most of the viruses with droplets from entering the respiratory tract, and it is not necessary to wear N95 masks. .
In terms of protective effects, N95 masks have the strongest protective effect, then medical surgical masks, and then ordinary medical masks. If you just go to the general open-air public place and do not contact the patient, then you can choose a medical mask, but if you will contact patients with suspected respiratory infections, you need to wear N95 masks.
It should be reminded that the protective effect of any type of mask is time-consuming and must be replaced regularly. It is recommended to replace the mask every 2 to 4 hours. If the mask is contaminated, it should be replaced immediately.
All masks are disposable and are not recommended for repeated use. Discard N95 masks if they are damaged or deformed. That is: no longer form an effective seal on the face; getting wet or significantly dirty; breathing becomes more difficult; or being contaminated by blood, breathing or nasal secretions or other body fluids of the patient, all need to be discarded.
Disposable masks (medical surgical masks)
It can prevent respiratory tract infection to a certain extent and cannot prevent haze.
There are three layers of medical surgical masks, which are waterproof layer, filter layer and comfort layer from outside to inside. The comfort layer is a layer of non-woven fabric. When wearing, the white non-woven fabric is facing inward, the blue waterproof layer is facing outward, and the side with the metal sheet is facing up. Don’t wear it upside down. Fit your nose and smooth your cheeks so that there is no gap between the mask and your face.
Please pay attention when purchasing, you should choose a mask on the outer package clearly marked “Medical Surgical Mask”.
Can effectively prevent respiratory infections, can prevent haze.
The N95 mask is one of nine anti-particulate masks certified by NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health). “N” means unsuitable for oily particles (oil fume produced by cooking is oily particles, and droplets produced by people speaking or coughing are not oily); “95” means filtering under the detection conditions specified by the NIOSH standard The efficiency reaches 95%.
N95 is not a specific product name. As long as the product meets the N95 standard and passes the NIOSH review, it can be called a “N95 mask”.
The biggest feature of N95 type mask is that it can prevent droplet infection caused by patient’s body fluid or blood splash. The size of the droplets is 1 to 5 microns in diameter. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires medical institutions that medical workers exposed to tuberculosis bacteria must wear masks above the N95 standard.
Compared with medical surgical masks, N95 masks are better closed. When choosing a N95 mask, try to choose a N95 mask without a breathing valve.
Ordinary cotton face mask
Its material may be cotton, gauze, wool, canvas, and velvet. Because the material itself is not dense enough, it cannot serve the purpose of preventing infection.
What type of mask to wear?
For the purpose of self-protection and reducing the risk of respiratory infections, medical surgical masks and N95 masks can be used.
If you are going to the general open-air public place without contact with the patient, you can choose to wear medical surgical masks without over-protection, but if you will contact patients with suspected respiratory infections, wear N95 masks.
The WHO Interim Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infectious Epidemics and Pandemic Acute Respiratory Diseases in Health Care gives four recommendations:
1. Cover the nose and mouth carefully with a mask and fasten it to minimize the gap between the face and the mask;
2. Avoid touching the mask during use-after touching a used mask, for example, to remove the mask, wash your hands with soapy water or alcohol hand sanitizer;
3. After the mask is wet or contaminated with moisture, put on a new clean and dry mask;
4. Do not reuse disposable masks. Disposable masks should be discarded after each use and disposed of immediately after removal.
Pregnant women wearing protective masks should pay attention to their own conditions and choose products with good comfort. Before wearing, you should consult a professional physician to confirm that your physical condition is suitable.
The elderly and patients with chronic diseases have different physical conditions. For example, patients with cardiopulmonary diseases can cause discomfort and even exacerbate the original condition. These people should seek professional guidance from their doctors.
Children are at the stage of growth and development, and their faces are small. It is recommended to choose a child protective mask produced by a regular manufacturer.
In order to prevent infection, some people may wear medical masks all day long, but this will make the nasal mucosa vulnerable, lose the original physiological function of the nasal cavity, and reduce resistance. Therefore, in places with low population density and more airy places, You don’t need to wear a mask.
It needs to be reminded that the protective effect of any type of mask is time-consuming and must be replaced regularly. It is recommended to replace the mask every 2 to 4 hours. If the mask is contaminated, it should be replaced immediately.
When not in use, the medical mask is stored in a ziplock bag. It is not recommended to take off the mask and plug it directly into the pocket or bag. This will easily cause secondary contamination of the medical mask. Be sure to fold it into a clean ziplock bag and fold the side that touches the nose and mouth inward.
Wash your hands before taking off the mask.
When taking off the strap-on mask, you should first untie the strap on the back of the neck and then the strap on the top of the neck. Touch the outer part of the mask, as this part may be contaminated with germs.
Dispose of the removed mask in a covered bin and wash your hands immediately.
What is a gauze mask?
When it comes to masks, you may think that during the SARS period, the use and popularity of masks reached a climax. During this period, the masks were once out of stock. Many pharmacies would line up at the entrance of the store and everyone would wear them on the street. Masks. Some people may wear disposable masks, while others wear gauze masks. What kind of mask is a gauze mask?
Gauze masks are mainly used in working environments containing low concentrations of harmful gases and vapors. The cartridge contains only adsorbents or sorbents. Gauze masks can be used repeatedly, but they must be cleaned and disinfected before use. It is generally not recommended to use gauze masks repeatedly. Some people only clean them after use without disinfection. At this time, dust Or germs can’t be washed off, so it is not recommended to use gauze masks repeatedly if conditions permit.
When purchasing gauze masks, you must pay attention to buying from regular hospitals or outpatient clinics, in order to purchase qualified gauze masks, so that the masks can exert its effect. There are many types of gauze masks, which can be purchased according to your needs.
How to wear gauze masks?
Gauze masks are the most common, and they are also cheap, so most people buy gauze masks. However, you must pay attention to the method of wearing gauze masks, otherwise it will affect its use effect. How to wear a gauze mask? The correct method of wearing gauze masks is as follows:
Pull up the upper edge of the mask, cover the mouth and nose, and pull the two upper straps behind the ears to fasten them to the head, not to the ears. Gauze masks will become dirty once worn, and some people will alternately use the masks inside and outside. This situation is most likely to cause disease; if it is in a high-risk place such as a hospital, regardless of the length of use, once the mask is removed, do not Re-use to avoid contamination by touching the mask with your hands.
In addition, please also note that after not wearing the mask, it should be stored, and the side that is close to the nose and mouth should be folded inward, and then put into a clean plastic bag or paper bag for use; Do daily cleaning and change daily. For cleaning of gauze masks, blanch with boiling water for 5 minutes, and then wash with soap. After cleaning, dry in the sun. Regardless of whether you wear or remove a mask, you must clean it with your hands, because your hands may come in contact with some toxic substances. After cleaning, you must reduce these substances into the mouth and nose.
What are the advantages of non-woven masks?
There are two types of non-woven masks. One is made of pure cotton degreased gauze or knitted fabric, and various non-woven fabrics are sandwiched between them; the other is made of non-woven fabrics directly. . Now the latest product is a non-woven material on the front and back, and a layer of filter paper will be sandwiched in the middle, so that the filtering effect of the non-woven mask can be improved. What are the advantages of non-woven masks?
The reason why non-woven masks are favored is that it has the following advantages: good air permeability, non-woven fabrics have better air permeability than other fabrics, and if the non-woven fabric is mixed with filter paper, its filtration Non-woven masks have better thermal insulation than ordinary masks, and have good water absorption and water resistance. In addition, non-woven masks have good elasticity, even if stretched left and right, they will not be messy. It feels good and is very soft. Even if it is washed many times, it will not harden under the sun. Non-woven masks are highly elastic and can return to their original shape after long-term use.
However, it also has certain shortcomings: Compared with other woven fabric masks, non-woven masks have lower strength and durability, and are not easy to clean. If they are not properly maintained, they will easily tear.
How to clean non-woven masks?
As long as the filter mechanism of the non-woven fabric relies on ultra-fine electrostatic fiber cloth, its fiber diameter is about 1-5 micron, so the dust is not easy to be detached by cleaning after being captured by the ultra-fine electrostatic fiber cloth, and the non-woven mask is washed with water After that, it will destroy the electrostatic suction ability. Therefore, the non-woven mask cannot be cleaned, and it cannot be reused. Therefore, it must be discarded after use.
Non-woven masks have a wide range of applications, which can be used in medical and health services, can be used in beauty, pharmaceuticals, good insulation, good flexibility, good breathability, both waterproof and absorbent. Especially for some pollutants in the air, you can thoroughly filter these harmful substances through the filtering effect of non-woven masks, which can ensure everyone’s health. However, the durability or strength of non-woven masks are relatively poor. Therefore, in terms of washing, non-woven fabrics cannot be washed and cannot be reused. In addition, in the process of using a non-woven mask, you must be careful. Its fibers are arranged in a certain direction, so it can easily crack from a right angle. These aspects hope to attract everyone’s attention.