Alongside the Spanish flu that hit the world in 1918, Coronavirus has been one of the biggest medical scares of all American history, and one of the biggest pandemics in our known history for many nations across the globe. Thank goodness technologies, tests, products and treatments have evolved massively since 1918, however, throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, there has still been a lot of trial and error and questions of effectiveness of face masks. This may have caused uncertainty between knowing what face masks there are and which is the best to use. In this blog post, we are going to be explaining about what types of face masks there are to choose from in 2021, depending on your needs and uses.
What type of face masks are there?
There are a large range of masks to choose from, especially to protect yourself and others from Covid-19. The different types of masks are not limited to but include;
- Basic cloth masks
- Surgical face masks
- FFP respirator (FFP2/FFP3)
- Full face respirator masks
Basic Cloth Mask
The cloth mask is what has been recommended and seen with the public during the pandemic. These can be worn when on public transport, shopping, or in general public areas. If yourself and others around you are wearing one, you can protect yourself and others from airborne germ particles in a practical and effective yet comfortable way.
Surgical Face Masks
A surgical face mask is commonly used during surgical procedures and in medical practices, however, they have also been seen to be used by the general public in replacement of basic cloth masks. The surgical masks are made with a thin layer of disposable material, making them easy to buy in bulk in multipacks, and perfect for the industries where the surgical mask is widely sought after to quickly have a spare to hand. The most commonly used surgical masks are Type II and Type IIR grade masks.
FFP2 and FFP3 Respirators
At the beginning of the pandemic FFP2 or FFP3 respirators were not often used by the general public, mainly because supplies on these types of masks were very limited and supply became exceptionally scarce, with any available stock prioritised for health care workers and medical first responders that were working in direct contact with a patient, offering the highest level of protection.
However supply of FFP2 and FFP3 masks is now bountiful and certain members of the general public and businesses will opt for their employees to wear FFP2 and/or FFP3 masks.
A filtering respirator mask is personal protective equipment that is designed to prevent the wearer from inhaling aerosols that are health hazards. Masks are usually worn to avoid any contact with damaging airborne particles such as pollen, wood and dust.
The protection factors of FFP respirators are up to 16 times greater than those of surgical masks although the fit to the wearer's face is the most important factor in their effectiveness, and fit testing is vital.
FFP2 masks have a minimum of 94% filtration percentage for particles 0.3 microns in diameter whilst FFP3 masks are the most filtering mask of the FFPs. With a minimum filtration percentage of 99%, they protect against very fine particles such as asbestos.
Those with allergies may find this mask the most appropriate whilst masks are still recommended. However, you will most likely find workmen and women wearing these on construction sites or in home improvement projects.
Full Face Respirator
Typically used in industrial settings to prevent the wearer from inhaling very harmful aerosols that could cause serious health hazards. They are also chosen by the general public when carrying out certain home improvements and renovation projects, full face respirators are the perfect option when carrying out any potential project that could carry risks of respiratory issues. Again, fit testing is recommended on these types of masks.
Although we can see the light at the end of the tunnel with the pandemic, masks are still very much encouraged in public areas. However, each mask as explained above can be used for varying jobs and work environments, making knowledge of which is best for you a helpful piece of information to carry with you.
To shop the full range, head over to our website at The Face Mask Store.