01. Can you ever wash disposable masks?
It is recommended to not reuse the disposable masks after it has been used for the suggested period. The WHO advises to remove and replace the disposable masks once it has become damp. Hence washing is also not recommended since it must not be reused. Also, you may refer to guidelines provided by the manufacturer.
02. Should I wear a disposable mask for appointments at the clinic, hospitals or dentists, or when visiting a pharmacy?
As per WHO, masks may be necessary during clinic or hospital visits, only if you are taking care of an infected patient. Also, you may wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing to avoid infection spread. Wearing a mask may be effective only when combined with frequent hand wash or sanitizing hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer.
03. Are disposable respirator masks much better than surgical masks?
A respirator mask reduces the person’s respiratory exposure to contaminants present in the air such as gasses or particles. A surgical mask is generally suitable to prevent the spread of infection through the wearer’s saliva or mucous. Hence, a respirator or surgical mask may be picked as per the requirement. Please note that a respirator mask generally comes with an approval rating whereas surgical masks do not have this rating.
04. Will disposable mask protect me from getting COVID-19?
Though a disposable mask is suggested for protection against COVID -19, it must be used in combination with other measures for complete protection. Other measures include frequent hand wash or using sanitizer whenever interacting from the outside world and following social distancing. Only using a mask cannot provide full protection.
05. Do I need a disposable mask if I’m walking or running in the open air?
It may not be required probably but will not do any harm also. Wearing a mask will also encourage other people to wear one too. Hence, you may consider wearing it while walking or running to take precautions at your end.
06. What type of Mask is best for Coronavirus?
A filtering facepiece classified as FFP3 is the most effective against coronavirus. Crafted from synthetic fibre, a well-fitted FFP3 mask has the potential to protect against inward leakage and capture very fine toxic particles. It also includes an exhalation valve that releases air, to prevent heat and moisture build-up. The mask combined with social distancing and frequent hand washing can offer optimal protection against potential virus transmission.
07. What are the safety standards for disposable masks?
Disposable masks are required to achieve the safety standard EN 149:2001 +A1:2009 which are achieved in laboratory tests to check the conformity with resistance to impacts, cleansers, flame and respirator resistance.
Disposable masks may also have codes associated with them such as NPF, APF, TIL, TLV & Dolomite tested.
08. What is a Dolomite Tested dust mask ? (D)
Respirators that pass the dolomite test for clogging are proven to provide a more comfortable breathing level & longer lasting performance of filtration especially in very dusty conditions.
09. What are the different codes associated with disposable masks?
NPF: Nominal Protection Factor - The nominal level of protection given by the respiratory protective equipment (RPE) in laboratory conditions.
APF: Assigned Protection Factor – The level or protection which can realistically be expected in workplace conditions.
TIL: The level of contaminant concentration to which the user may be exposed without health effects.
TLV: Total inward leakage.
10. What is an N99 mask ?
The term N99 is an American standard and is not a standard legally allowed to be sold in the UK. The same equivalent standard in the UK is the FFP3 mask. Only masks that are marked with the FFP3 UK standard have passed the UK safety tests allowing the FFP3 masks to be sold in the UK.
11. What is an N95 mask ?
The term N95 s an American standard and is not legally allowed to be sold in the UK. The same equivalent standard in the UK is the FFP2 mask. Only masks that are marked with the FFP2 UK standard have passed the UK safety tests.
12. What Dust Masks are legally allowed to be sold in the UK?
The UK safety standards for masks that are legally allowed to be sold in the UK are FFP. The protective grades for disposable masks are FFP1, FFP2 & FFP3.
13. What is the difference in protection between FFP1, FFP2 & FFP3 masks?
The lowest protective grade for disposable masks is FFP1 with 80% filtration. These filter out larger particulates only protecting from non toxic dusts and water based aerosols. They provide a NPF protection level 4.5 TLV with an APF 4x TLV. FFP2 masks protect from slightly toxic or irritating solid aerosols & liquids at 94% filtration offering an APF 10x TLV. The highest grade of protection offered by a disposable mask if the FFP3 mask. These provide 98% particulate filtration with an APF 20 x TLV.
14. What substances do FFP1 masks provide protection ?
FFP1 masks provide 80% filtration for non toxic dust such as flour, graphite, cotton & chalk etc. Applications may include handling of stone, rubble.
15. What substances do FFP2 masks provide protection ?
FFP2 masks provide 94% filtration for slightly toxic dust & aerosols such as grinding & cutting, softwood dust, welding, milling, coal, powdered pesticides & grain dust.
Applications may include sanding of soft wood, metal drilling, plaster, composite materials, milling.
16. What substances do FFP3 masks provide protection ?
FFP3 masks provide 99% filtration for toxic dust/aerosols such as asbestos, powdered pesticides, hard wood dusts, lead, chromium & lime.
Applications may include non-licenced asbestos work, biological, pharmaceuticals, paint stripping, handling/drilling cement.
|DISPOSABLE MASK / DUST MASK PROTECTION GUIDE
||Protects from toxic solid aerosols & dusts
||Protects from slightly toxic or irritating solid aerosols/liquids
||Protects from non toxic dust 7 water based aerosols
||Asbestos, aerosol procedures, sanding
||Sanding soft wood, metal drilling
||Handling of stone, rubble
||Asbestos, hard wood, lead, silica viruses
||Untreated soft wood, glass fibre, powdered pesticides, grain dust
||Flour, cotton dusts, graphite
|% MIN FILTRATION
|TOTAL INWARD LEAKAGE (TIL)
|NOMINAL PROTECTION (NPF)
|ASSIGNED PROTECTION LEVEL(APF)