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Disposable Medical Face Mask

Disposable Medical Face Mask

Disposable Medical Mask Material: NonWoven Fabric+Meltbl

Disposable KN95 Face Mask

Disposable KN95 Face Mask

Disposable N95 Mask Material: 5 ply Non-woven fabric Col

Disposable N95 Face Mask

Disposable N95 Face Mask

Disposable KN95 Face Mask Material: Needle punched cotto

Infrared Forehead Thermometer

Infrared Forehead Thermometer

Infrared Forehead Thermometer Sample: Free Brand: Orient

Disposable Isolation Coveralls

Disposable Isolation Coveralls

General purpose, Cleanroom, Construction/building, Clean

Disposable Medical Gloves

Disposable Medical Gloves

Disposable Medical Gloves Material: PVC Color: Transpare

Disposable Isolation Gowns

Disposable Isolation Gowns

PE Isolation Gown, Disposable PE Isolation Gown, Isolati

You Need to Upgrade Your Mask Now: Here’s How

With the coronavirus evolving to be more contagious, it might take fewer virus particles to make you sick. Just maintaining the same level of protection you had against the initial strain therefore requires a more effective mask. But the choices are bewildering, ranging from the gold-standard N95s to highly effective surgical masks to a slew of reusable options that range from good to fraudulent.

Problem is, a year into the pandemic, N95s remain in short supply even for health care workers. Karan and other experts say the federal government needs to fast-track an existing plan to develop standards for testing, manufacturing, and distributing effective masks for the broader public — a plan still thought to be months from fruition.

Improve filtration

Filtering material works by forcing air to twist and turn, trapping virus-laden respiratory droplets like leaves caught up in a river strewn with fallen logs and branches. Anything from cloth to nylon will trap some particles, but no single layer of cloth is ideal. After N95s, the most efficient filters are the ubiquitous, disposable surgical masks. As with N95s, surgical masks employ a layer of non-woven polypropylene, made of highly effective, randomly arranged fibers.

Not all products marketed as surgical masks are created equal, however. See the Food & Drug Administration’s list of surgical masks approved for coronavirus protection under an Emergency Use Authorization. Surgical masks are disposable, raising environmental concerns, and they are prone to fitting loosely. So…

Get the fit right

No matter how good the material, a mask must fit tight to be effective, leaving no gaps for air to enter or exit unfiltered. “If it fits well with no gaps and you have at least a couple of layers of densely woven material, then it probably protects you against at least half if not 80% or more of the droplets and aerosols that we think are most important for transmission,” Marr says.

Nose clips: If your mask does not have a bendable nose clip, get a new mask. Or if you’re DIY-inclined, you can measure your nose topography and have a custom clip 3D-printed just for you. In Debugger, Dave Gershgorn explains how he did this to stop his glasses from fogging up.

Rubber bands: Ex-Apple employees Sabrina Paseman and Megan Duong devised the Essential Mask Brace, a contraption of flexible straps that fits over a surgical mask and snugs it tight with head and neck straps. The product claims to eliminate glass-fogging, too. They sell the product and also offer free instructions for making a simple version.

To check fit, look for gaps using a mirror or some selfies from all angles. Or place your hands around the edges and exhale a full breath. If you feel air escaping the edges, fix the fit. Fogged glasses also indicate a poor fit.

Look for layers

Cotton, silk, and polyester have all proven effective in lab tests. Marr’s advice on what to look for: “Anything that is tightly woven, such that if you hold it up to the light, you can’t see through it, or if you hold it up and spray [water] through it, nothing comes through.” (Georgia Tech researchers illustrate these simple tests here.)

Some reusable masks come with pockets into which a third layer of special filter material is inserted and periodically replaced. While Marr has not tested this setup, she says it should be an effective approach, assuming the materials in all three layers are of good quality.

Double up

If one mask is good, can two be better? “This makes sense, particularly if it combines something that filters well, such as a surgical-type mask, with something that fits well, like a tight cloth mask, on top,” Marr says. “More layers add more filtration ability, but it’s important to maintain breathability, too. Too many layers that make it hard to breathe through the mask could mean that you take in more air through gaps, and that air wouldn’t get filtered.”

Related Products

Disposable Medical Face Mask

Disposable Medical Face Mask

Disposable Medical Mask Material: NonWoven Fabric+Meltblown N

Disposable KN95 Face Mask

Disposable KN95 Face Mask

Disposable N95 Mask Material: 5 ply Non-woven fabric Color: w

Disposable N95 Face Mask

Disposable N95 Face Mask

Disposable KN95 Face Mask Material: Needle punched cotton+Mel

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