Different Types of Filtering Facepiece
The need to have personal protective equipment demands the people to buy necessary things to protect themselves from the threat of the Covid19 pandemic. At this time now, wearing facemasks is a necessity. One cannot wander around their vicinity without using any face masks at all. Because of the demand for face masks, a lot of their variations continue to exist.
Common Types of Face Masks available in the market are the following:
- Cloth Mask – This type of mask is primarily made from fabric or cloth. There are many types of cloth masks in the market, but always make sure to find a cloth mask with multiple layers, breathable and tightly woven.
- Disposable Mask -this is often called a surgical mask. With this type of mask, it is advisable to wear it once only. Ideally, after wearing it the first time, it should then be discarded. When looking for a disposable mask, look for those that indicate multiple layers of non-woven material and a nose wire. With this mask, it is suggested to wear it combined with the cloth mask for more protection.
- N95 Mask – this type of face mask is highly recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Because of this mask’s protection, many healthcare professionals prefer using them to any other face masks. As N95 becomes available, they can now be worn by the ordinary masses, such as those that are not a part of the healthcare team.
Variations of N95
Just like any other type of mask, the N95 respirator also comes in different models and sizes. The sizing of N95 is dependent on the model that one is using. Some of the measurements of an N95 are: small, small/medium, medium, medium/large, and large. The sizes for N95 are available in multiple size configurations that are variable and are not standardized across different models.
Aside from the different sizes that the N95 mask respirator offers, this mask also comes in different styles. This respirator may be available in a wide range of shapes, styles, and colors. Since there are different sizes for N95, the fitting of this mask may vary from person to person, depending on the person’s preferences. Regardless of the style, size, and design your N95 has, the protection it gives will always be the same as long as it is approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), it has been fit tested. It is being used following the requirement of an OSHA-compliant respirator program.
Here some of the models available for N95 masks are:
- L-188 N95– This model of N95 mask has a high filtration capacity as per the standards of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Its nose piece is adjustable aluminum with a padded foam inside designed to promote comfort to the user. One of the great things about this model is the foldable style that makes it more convenient for storing and transport. This kind of N95 is made up of several non-woven polypropylene fabrics.
- N95-8210 – This is the most common model in the market and can filter 95 percent of solid or liquid non-oily particles. This N95 uses advanced electrostatic media technology, allowing the wearer to have smoother breathing while also being protected. The elastic bands in this model are designed to be more durable, giving more comfort to the user.
- N95-8511 – This type of N95 has a breathing valve. The breathing valve of this N95 allows the insides of the mask to cool, making it more suitable in a hot, humid environment. The headband of this model is knitted. It has an M-shaped nose clip and a soft inner layer for added comfort.
- N95-91055 – This type of N95 has a V-shaped fold design which makes it easier for the user to breathe. This type is also designed to bend with the kind of mouth movement the user would make, making it more convenient as the user speaks.
Choosing the Proper Size of Respirator Mask
As mentioned above, the N95 Mask comes in different sizes: small, medium, and large. In reality, the N95 masks are all the same in sizes, but the rubber-mounted in the respirator gives the size variations. The rubber present in the mask is the one that dictates what size your N95 respirator has.
According to the 3M (a manufacturing company specializing in the production of high-quality industrial products and medical supplies), the medium-sized respirator mask fits 80% of the population.
To determine the appropriate face mask, below is a general guide based on body weight:
- Large – 115 kgs – 140 kgs
- Medium – 70 kgs – 115 kgs
- Small- 45 kgs – 70 kgs
However, to ensure proper fitting, one can use the facial measurement for a more accurate fit. Another way to know if a respirator perfectly fits you is through a fit test required by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).