2- Types of respiratory masks
3layers respiratory masks
This type of mask is mainly used to prevent the spread of infections or contaminations from the user to others and the environment. And it is mainly in two types, stretched and bandages. Three-layer with bandages are often used in surgery rooms. Due to the fact that these masks are not fully capped, they must be used carefully and sufficiently, because it is possible for air or contaminants to pass through the sides of the mask. These masks are designed to trap large particles and secretions.
N and FFP series masks
These masks provide good adhesion to the face and are designed and supplied in two types, with and without valves. The valve type is used to protect the user, and the non-valve type is used to protect the user as well as to prevent the spread of contaminants and biological particles such as viruses and bacteria by the user. These masks protect the user against dust, fog and biological particles such as bacteria and viruses like the coronavirus (COVID 19), which is very common nowadays.
These masks are capable of trapping particles in the range of 0.3 microns, and since the corona virus also has dimensions in this range (0.1 to 0.2 microns), these masks have the ability to protect the person against this virus. It should be noted that in some cases, this type of mask can be added to carbon-impregnated fabric, the purpose of which is to absorb gases and odors by carbon, which usually a black fabric layer indicates the presence of a carbon layer. In this regard, two points should be noted that, firstly, although carbon has a black color, but every black color doesn’t indicate carbon, and secondly, the presence of carbon only plays a role in absorbing gases and will not play an effective role in filtering suspended particles such as viruses.
N series masks:
N-series masks classified by the American NIOSH standard:
- N95 mask suitable for particles larger than 0.3 microns with 95% non-oil resistant filtration.
- N99 mask suitable for particles larger than 0.3 microns with 99% non-oil filtration resistant.
- N100 mask suitable for particles larger than 0.3 microns with 99.97% filtration non-resistant to oil.
FFP series masks:
FFP-Series masks classified by the europian EN149:2001 standard:
- The FFP1 mask is suitable for medium (micron) particles with 80% filtration (0.3-micron particle trapping).
- FFP2 mask is suitable for fine particles (under microns) with 94% filtration (0.3-micron particle trapping).
- FFP3 mask is suitable for very fine particles (under microns) with 99% filtration (0.3-micron particle trapping).