N95 MASKS VS KN95 VS SURGICAL MASKS
With the spread of the novel respiratory disease “COVID-19” on the rise, there is an immense increase in the buying of face masks of all sorts. At the current time, even a mask made out of clothing material would suffice.
In conclusion, masks have become a valuable commodity because of the alleged protection they’ll provide to the one wearing it and due to this, they are selling like hotcakes around the globe resulting in a shortage of this commodity but even, in that case, the public has resorted to making their face masks using materials such as tissue papers, kitchen towels, and various others.
While this proves that people all over the world are desperate to get their hands on this commodity in any form, but two masks have taken precedence over all the other protective equipment, the N95 mask, and the surgical mask.
A surgical mask is a face mask that was originally meant to be worn by medical professionals such as doctors, nurses and any person who may be in direct contact with a patient to protect the workers from catching infection but in the recent times, we have observed people who do not belong to the medical sector wearing this mask to seek protection from toxic air, dust and now the COVID-19 outbreak.
These disposable masks are mostly made of paper or some other non-woven material and are meant to be discarded after each use.
- What this mask does (if you wear it properly) is that it protects droplets, spray, and splashes that are made up of large particles from entering your mouth
- It also hinders your saliva and other respiratory secretion from reaching other people which in absence of this mask would have been able to travel up to 26 feet.
- It could also serve as a reminder and refrain from touching your face while you are wearing it.
- It does not protect small particles that are transmitted in the air by sneezing and coughing from entering the surface of the mask, thus proving to be useless when worn to seek protection from COVID-19.
- It has a loose fit which as a result allows various germs and impurities to pass through it.
- They are said to have a leakage of 12 to 25%.
An N95 mask, otherwise known as an N95 respirator, as the name suggests, filters out 95% of the particles that are in the air except for gases and vapors. They are made from synthetic polymer fibers and require a seal check when worn. It is considered ideal if you discard them after each use but are not disposable like the surgical masks.
- They have a tight-fitting and if worn properly, filter out 95% of particles present in the air (both small and large).
- Some of these masks come with an exhalation valve that makes it easier for the person wearing this mask to breath
- They are the go-to choice for medical workers and non-medical workers to seek protection from COVID-19 because of its minimal leakage and filtration of 95% of small and large droplets.
- It can’t be worn if oil-based particles are present in the air as the mask is not resistant to oil.
The KN95 masks are considered to be a substitute for the N95 respirators, which are, at this point, almost non-existent in the market. These masks are manufactured in China and are supplied by them globally.
- These masks were widely used by the Chinese during the Coronavirus pandemic and helped them in combating this virus.
- These masks are considered to be an effective alternative of the N95 respirators and are approved by the both FDA and CDC.
- They are considered to function in the same way the N95 does.
- Even though the mask has the approval of prestigious bodies like FDA and CDC, it is quite obvious that they have only resorted to approve the supply of these masks (when the mask only meets the Chinese standards) in a country like the US, because they were desperate to get their hands on this piece of protective equipment for their health care workers.
- The masks has been accused several times for not meeting the required standard of safety and has been labelled as a “not good enough substitute” for the N95 respirator and are said to be too “porous” to be considered effective.