COVID-19: What you need to know when buying a mask
We’re in the middle of a global pandemic, and information is coming in from every angle. With all that is happening in the world, it’s hard to navigate the abundance of information out there. When it comes to choosing the right mask, it’s incredibly important to do your research and choose a well-made mask that protects you and those around you.
There are so many different masks and so many filters to choose from. Many masks on the market today are completely ineffective and can put you at risk! COVID-19 particles are approximately 0.3 microns, yet standard medical masks only remove particles that are 3.0 and larger, meaning they are unable to protect against the coronavirus.
We have done a lot of research when it comes to making the masks that are fashionable yet (more importantly), effective. If you are feeling overwhelmed trying to choose the right mask, you’re in the right place, we have compiled the top 5 things you need to know when buying a mask.
- Disposable medical masks (normally single-layer, thin masks) are only effective at capturing larger dust particles. These masks are not effective at protecting you against COVID-19. Surgical masks are significantly more effective and it’s imperative you do not to confuse the two. Surgical masks are not always readily available and it’s important to verify the quality of one-time-use masks before purchasing. A true surgical mask can capture virus-sized particles, but often what is out there online are not surgical masks.
- Every country has varying standards related to medical masks. When purchasing a mask online, verify where the company is located, as it will affect the standards that must be met to manufacture a mask.
- Masks with HEPA 99 reusable filters are incredibly effective and provide added protection against coronavirus particles. Masks with the HEPA 99 filters add an extra layer of protection because they are proven to capture 99% of particulates down to 0.3 micron.
- Pollution masks (respirators – including N95, KN95, FFP1, FFP2, and FFP3) typically capture more than 90% of virus sized particles. There are various types available on the market based and the rating system helps provide standardization so you know exactly what type of mask it is and what size particles it can effectively filter. If you’re wearing a mask with a valve, you are protected against coronavirus particles, however the valve does not protect others in the event you were infected with the virus. Due to high demand of N95 masks for medical professionals, it is not recommended that regular citizens purchase these for everyday use.
- When using a cloth mask, the fabric matters! Different fabrics can be more or less effective at protecting you and others from COVID-19. Fabric has different sized spacing between individual threads, meaning some fabrics will have larger or smaller holes. These spaces between the threads are where virus particles can pass through. The smaller the hole the less likely something can pass through.
Well-made cotton masks with HEPA 99% washable filters are one of the best ways to protect against particles. OGONEWYORK soft cotton HEPA face masks are built with a filter pocket and include a HEPA99 filter for added protection. The filter captures 99% of particles down to 0.3 micron. OGONEWYORK masks are incredibly effective and affordable. A more sustainable choice, the HEPA filters are reusable, washable, lightweight and FDA compliant. They are washable up to 40 times and can last up to 6 months. If you are looking for a mask that can capture 99% of particulates down to 0.3 micron, while being reusable and fashionable, these are the masks for you! On the other hand, if you are simply looking for breathable, lightweight, filters you can’t go wrong with the HEPA99 filters, available in different quantities here.
For some time now, the CDC has recommended the use of non-medical protective face coverings to help flatten the curve. By understanding the different types of masks out there, you can make an informed decision for you and your family.
If you have any questions about HEPA 99% barrier filter masks, drop us a line and we will be happy to help!