The COVID-19 pandemic has called for people wearing masks every time they go out of their homes. With the rise of awareness regarding the different types of masks, more and more people are researching about them. They are trying to learn about the different types of masks, the meaning behind their names, and their ability to tackle pollutants and viruses. While it has become easier to find information about N-95 masks, it is still tough to find details about all the other types of masks.
To help our readers with this, we have compiled this post, where we can find all types of information in one place. We recommend learning about a mask before purchasing it so that you can make the right choice. For example, the common loose mask is not effective against COVID-19 if it is loosely fit. Similarly, the factory masks and face shields are used for occupational exposures. In light of the pandemic, the availability of masks has considerably increased. So much so, that you can find masks from many high-end brands on e-commerce websites such as Myntra. Apart from preventing exposure to deadly coronavirus, these masks look good as well. Further, you can buy them using goodies such as Myntra offers and enjoy savings on each order.
Now, read on and choose the right mask for the right purpose.
Masks and their names:
Let us start with the naming details. Every mask is named keeping its functions in mind. This mask is still prescribed for the medical professionals working in close vicinity with the affected individuals. They have a close fit on the faces and are called so because of their ability to filter out at least 85% of test particles (0.3 microns). Similarly, masks are also named according to the function they perform. For example, an oxygen mask is the one that assists in breathing, and a surgical mask is one that is worn by surgeons during operations and other medical procedures.
So, one can learn a lot about a particular type of mask from its name as well. Hence, if you need a mask for a particular purpose, check its features and utility description before making the purchase.
Common Types of Masks and their Functions:
- Surgical Masks
They are currently being used by the majority of people to protect them from the coronavirus. However, they are actually no effective against the virus as they sit loosely on the face. If an affected individual is wearing a surgical mask, it can prevent the spread of bigger particles and body fluids such as spit, sputum, and fumes sent in the air after sneezing. However, the grade of material used to make these masks matters a lot in deciding their efficacy. So, if you are living in a highly infested area, you must avoid wearing them as they are of little or no significance. If you are using this mask to prevent your sneezes and coughs from spreading in the vicinity, then you must opt for a high-grade mask. They can offer borderline protection against dust as well. However, their efficacy is limited.
- FFP1 and N95 masks
Both of them are highly efficient masks that can be used for protection against COVID-19 virus and fine pollution. Though the N95 masks are highly popular among the masses currently, they are superseded by the FFP1 masks. The N95 masks can filter 95% of test particles of very small size, namely 0.3 microns. They offer the highest level of protection and must be tested for fit on the face of the wearer before going out. Most of these masks come with adjustment settings to fit securely over the face. The FFP1 masks are even more effective and can filter out highly hazardous and toxic particles from the surrounding air. Their fit around the nose and mouth is even tighter, and you can work in a hazardous environment after wearing them. Though the CDC has prescribed N95 masks for the health sector, you can buy them online on websites like Myntra.
- Activated Carbon Masks
These masks contain a filtering layer of activated carbon that effectively traps the dust, pollutants, and germs, etc. in the ambient air. These masks are perfect for general-purpose outings to offer protection against pollution. They are mainly used by people living in highly polluted cities such as Beijing and metro cities. They filter the aerial pollution and germs. However, they are not effective against the COVID-19 virus. So, they are not the masks that you need now!
- Cloth and Sponge Masks
While the corona pandemic is gaining pace, more and more people are posting DIY videos and tutorials for making masks at home. Most of these videos tell us how to make masks using spare cloth at home. Using a single layer of sponge in between two layers of cloth, you can make simple masks at home. Though these masks keep your facial area clean, they can also prove effective against the dust and ambient pollution. But you must remember that such masks have lesser or equivalent efficacy as that of a surgical mask. So, you have to be careful while wearing them. If you are living in a heavily infested zone or Red Zone, you must avoid these masks. If you are living in the Orange Zone, and there is no case in the area you are planning to visit, then you can wear such masks. However, if you are living in the Orange Zone, and you are planning to visit an infested area, then such masks cannot protect you against coronavirus.
Now that you have learned all about the different types of masks, choose the right mask as per your requirement and be safe!