Coronavirus or Covid-2019 is generally a large family of viruses which is caused by infection from animals including bats, cats and camel. This is highly transmissible disease that has vicious effects the cure for which is not yet discovered by scientists. Covid-19 can easily spread to new hosts when an infected person sneezes or coughs as they expel bits of virus as aerosols particles in the air. The people who are in close proximity to the infected patients are most prone to infection; that means the medical staff are most vulnerable. It becomes imperative to choose the Best air mask for coronavirus and pollution considering the seriousness of this outbreak.
The high rate of infection in medical staff can be attributed to two key facts – first is non-disinfection of hands and secondly and most importantly, the sparse use of face masks. Face masks have become quite ubiquitous in the wake of China’s coronavirus outbreak and the demand for the same has sky-rocketed across global markets. There are multiple types of best air mask for coronavirus and pollution out there in the market including surgical mask and N95 respirator which are listed below.
Surgical air mask
Avg. Review: 4
Total Pieces: 100
Brief: Versatile mask for flu, dust, dentist, salon, general maintenance, etc. with bacteria filtration efficiency > 99%.
It can cover nose, mouth and chin for full protection
Also, ring ears are held safely
Surgical masks are mostly used by doctors while they carry out a surgery or operations. This is a thin layer of paper wrapped around mouth of the doctor to prevent the patients from being infected by germs and other pathogens. For example: if a doctor sneezes, the virus particles may enter the system of the patient thereby infecting him/her. But if there is a surgical mask, these virus particles will get locked in the mask itself. Because of this reason the life of using surgical mask is quite less and hence needs to be changed in a short interval of time like every 2-3 hours.
N95 respirator air mask
Avg. Review: 4.5
Total Pieces: 10
Brief: Reduces heat build-up inside the respirator, helping to enhance your comfort during longer jobs. Also, it enhances the capture of airborne particles while allowing you to breathe easier.
Talking about another type of face mask – “N95” in N95 respirator means that the respirators blocks out almost 95% of tiny aerosol particles including pathogens from entering the nose and mouth that comes into contact with them and offers the best defense against the virus. These are mostly important for those who work in dusty environment or with aerosols. Note that N95 masks may help you filter down the majority of aerosols in air, but the contraction of infection is still possible.
N99 PM2.5 air filters
PM 2.5, N99 air mask
Avg. Review: 5
Total Pieces: 5
Brief: Filters out 99% toxins in highly polluted conditions including dust, pollen, hazardous chemicals, fumes, heavy metal particles etc. Exhalation valve ensures efficient air-flow and easy breathing.
N99 filters can filter out 99% of the air-borne particles, it is similar to N95 filter with only difference being that of filter efficiency levels. N99 is not still resistant to oil-based pollutants and the oil-based particles in gas and diesel might still go through it.
P95 air mask
Avg. Review: 4.5
Total Pieces: 10
Brief: Provides 95% filtration efficiency against oil & non-oil based particles – fine dust, allergy, cigarette, automotive smoke, petroleum based contaminants (such as diesel, petrol, gasoline). Suited for work situations involving heat, humidity, or long periods of wear.
P95 air mask is similar in properties to N95 respirator with the only distinction that it can filter out oil-based pollutants as well. On the flip side, P95 air masks are expensive bet and needs to be replaced after every 2 days of regular use. Another advanced version in P series is P100 air mask – 3M 8293 P100.
CV air mask
CV masks are better at filtering out specific type of pollutants like Ozone and Sulphur dioxide. C denotes activated carbon filter and V denotes that it has in-built valve which prevents moisture inside mask. Since, it helps in preventing formation of moisture, you should be careful about size of this mask while buying it as even minor gap would lead pollutants to enter inside.
It is recommended to buy N95 filter with CV mark for effective prevention against pollutants.
Difference between N95, N99, P95 and CV air mask/ respirator
N95 air masks are able to filter up to 95% of the particulate matter 2.5 (or PM 2.5) in air that can stay longest in the air. These PM 2.5 matters are so thin that they can form a plaque in your nose, throats, lungs and arteries which might lead to heart attack in case of longer exposure.
N99 air mask is one step ahead of N95, as it can filter up to 99% of particulate matter 2.5 and hence is superior choice compared to N95 respirators.
Note: Both N95 and N99 respirators don’t work against oil-based pollutants though.
Also, for fitness enthusiasts who are into running and cycling outdoors on a regular basis, they should choose masks with fewer valves to avoid moisture build-up within the mask which might clog the masks.
Tips to use best air mask for coronavirus and pollution
- If you are healthy, then there is no need to use face mask until you are in crowded place. But ifyou are medical staff, then you would require this mask at all time since the risk for contracting is higher in this case.
- If your immunity is low and you are already coughing, sneezing or having slight fever, it is recommended to wear face mask at all times.
- Note that masks are only effective if they are used in combination with proper disinfecting practices like hand cleaning regularly using soap, using alcohol to rub your hands etc.
- Also, we have seen cases where even wearing masks is of no use. That is primarily because there are still some gaps between mouth and nose that lets the particles seeps in, so it is important to make sure that masks is fully covering up the face.
- Masks should never be reused and should be properly disposed off after single time use.
Debunking myths about corona virus
Wearing a mask will protect me from the coronavirus?
A lot of people like to think so and of course the mask gives you a sense of security. But the problem is that people who wear these masks usually don’t wear them properly since they have never been really trained. They may not know what kind of mask to wear.
So, there are two types of masks. One, the simple or surgical mask that you can see the general population wearing. And then there is another type of mask that healthcare workers wear. It’s called the N95 mask and it’s a respirator, and it’s able to filter particles that are air-borne with 95% efficacy. And the one that health care workers wear, they have to go through what is called as fit testing. And to make sure that they have the perfect seal. People who may think that they want to wear an N95 find it very uncomfortable after a while. So even if it fits well, it’s especially hard enough to breathe through. And the mask is actually for those who are infected with the actual corona virus disease, not so much for a healthy individual.
So, things that have proven to be effective is washing your hands quite often as well as if you are staying sick, then staying home. Hence, a number of other public health measures that actually have proven to be quite effective.
We are constantly monitoring corona outbreak and will keep you updated with more information about the best air mask for coronavirus and pollution, and other means to contain coronavirus soon.
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