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Disposable Face Masks
Highly recommended comfortable face masks for adults and kids
Protect yourself and the rest of your family from contagious diseases that roam around the environment nowadays. Prevent catching common colds, coughs, flu, or other deadly viruses by wearing a reliable disposable face mask with a comfortable fit, high filtration, and breathable construction. Discount Safety Gear offers a wide variety of disposable face masks to best suit your home needs, hospital work standards, or industrial job requirements. We offer the best brands carrying face masks, respirators, neck gaiters, and filters or cartridges to lessen your exposure to respiratory threats. Cliché as it may sound, one ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of the cure.
Medical and non-medical face masks explained
Face masks may all seem the same to the naked eye, but this personal protective equipment varies depending on the offered filtration ability. Basically, the categories of these face masks speak for themselves. Medical face masks are primarily intended for healthcare working environments and aim to protect medical experts who are always in contact with highly infectious diseases. These medical masks are designed to block certain micron particles carried by viruses such as Covid-19. With the recent pandemic, using medical masks was extended to public use to control the spread of this deadly illness. Respirators, surgical, and procedural masks belong to the medical face mask category. These masks have different ASTM-level ratings following the critical considerations a healthcare worker is exposed to.
Non-medical masks are recommended for the general public to fight off common respiratory sicknesses. These disposable face masks can minimize the volume of aerosols and microorganisms reaching other people when you cough, sneeze, laugh, or sing. Wearing non-medical masks in a crowded public space is sufficient to shield yourself from respiratory illnesses, as long as the material is made from two outer layers of cotton or linen and a non-woven polypropylene fabric as the center filtering layer. There are also non-medical face masks intended for those working in non-healthcare fields such as construction, industrial trade, and other environments where dust particles are present. Non-medical masks used in rugged fieldwork are rated as well to meet the standards of industrial personal protective equipment.
Masks vs. Respirators
Both types of masks serve the purpose of protecting the wearers and them from spreading infectious diseases. However, these forms of personal protection equipment differ in filtration efficiency levels, both coming out of the mask wearer and the contagious elements from the environment. Choosing between wearing a mask and a respirator must rely on the hazard exposure people are subjected to. It is best to understand the protective attributes of each type before deciding which one to put on.
Surgical, procedural, and medical masks block respiratory excretions, such as spit droplets and mucous, from the wearer's mouth and nose. These masks prevent impurities from spreading within the working environment, particularly in a sterile workplace of a hospital, laboratory, or any healthcare facility. Medical masks obstruct the spatter or spray of body fluids, secretions, or blood released by the patient to reach the wearer's mouth and nose, and vice-versa. Regular surgical disposable face masks, however, do not effectively filter small particles from the air brought by some viruses like Covid-19. Due to the health protection demands of the recent pandemic at the community level, disposable face mask manufacturers produced rated surgical masks to intensify the safety standards that the general public can use for their protection.
When straining small particles a person inhales, respirators offer a higher level of filtration than cloth and disposable surgical or procedural face masks. Respirators filter at least 95% of aerosols and airborne contaminants with a design that fits tightly to the wearer's face. Respirators come in a full-face or half-face style which provides safety depending on the health hazard present. This personal protective equipment prevents the wearer from inhaling dust, vapors, fumes, and infectious factors. Respirators also carry their respective approval ratings that meet the OSHA respiratory protection and PPE standards.
Please note that some disposable face masks may not meet any fluid barrier or filtration efficiency levels like other Filtering Facepiece Respirators or FFRs unless they are rated to hold out for the needs of the general public in managing the spread of contagious diseases. With the current threat of the coronavirus, rated disposable surgical masks are now available in the market for common consumption.
Understanding the ASTM standards for medical face masks
Protection and performance are significant in choosing reliable medical personal protective equipment. In making the best decision on whichever mask to wear, there are five simple specifications from the current ASTM F2100 standard to guide you. The criteria for the ASTM F2100 rating include Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE), Particulate Filtration Efficiency (PFE) or the mask's potential to sieve sub-micron particles, Fluid Resistance to shield the wearer from fluid penetration, Pressure Differential (Delta P) that ensures the lightness and breathability of the mask, and Flame Spread to resist flame exposure. With these qualifiers for ASTM approval, disposable face masks are categorized into three different levels to indicate the degree of protection they provide.
ASTM Level 1 offers light or minimum bacterial and particulate filtration efficiency. Level 1-rated disposable surgical face masks, such as this McKesson ASTM Level 1 Medical Face Mask, have a low barrier protection recommended for procedures with a low amount of fluid, blood, aerosol exposure, or spray. These masks are perfect to use in general procedures concerning minimally invasive surgeries, operatory cleaning, patient exams and consultations, ophthalmology, and orthodontic works, or simply practicing respiratory health protocols.
ASTM Level 2 has a high BFE and PFE rating and guarantees moderate barrier protection from fluid exposure while performing general surgery, endoscopy, prophylaxis, restoratives, endodontic work, and limited oral surgery. Level 2 masks are more breathable than higher-rated masks. For your protection requirements, Discount Safety Gear puts forward our Altor Safety Level 2-certified surgical mask with a plastic, metal, or without a nose wire, available in black and white boxes of 20 and 50 disposable face masks.
ASTM Level 3 high-rated disposable surgical face masks ensure top-ranking bacterial and particulate filtration efficiency, with the best fluid resistance to protect the wearer from highly hazardous threats. These top-rated masks give the best protection where the risk of blood and bodily fluid sprays in small particles is expected. Level 3 masks, like this FluidShield Level 3 Fog-Free Surgical Mask, filter 98% of airborne particles great for healthcare practitioners in many working conditions. It poses incredible protection, comfort, versatility, and breathability during OR procedures or dental works such as implant placement, complex oral surgery, and crown preparation.
What is the difference between soft cloth, surgical, N95, and KN95 masks?
Effective cloth face masks are constructed from two outer layers of tightly-woven fabric to filter around 35% of small airborne particles, with a filter pocket to add two sheets of polypropylene or facial tissue to increase filtration capacity for another 35%. Cloth face masks are reusable, practical, and environment-friendly to help contain infectious illnesses from spreading, especially in places where social distancing is difficult to achieve.
Disposable surgical masks are tested to guarantee high performance in blocking off contagions. This type of face mask is rated to protect the wearer from serving as a shield against large particle droplets or spatters from an infected person. Surgical masks can filter 80% of airborne particles but are rated to strain 95% of particles, similar to respirators, given the recent worldwide demand to fight the coronavirus. These masks usually have a regular fit, often presenting a loose or tight fit unless you adjust the elastic ear loops.
N95 and KN95 disposable face masks have increased protection levels. N95 masks are certified for healthcare expert use in the United States, while KN95 masks are regulated under Chinese standards. N95 face masks filter small particles from the environment compared to a common medical mask. N95 masks are also used by industrial workers to keep them from inhaling the smallest dust, vapors, and fumes within a rugged workplace. Not all KN95 masks comply with NIOSH standards, so it is better to scrutinize the product first before ordering a pack. CDC finds the effectiveness of KN95 masks to provide the same protection as disposable surgical masks.
What type of face mask is best for coronavirus?
N95 masks, according to experts, offer the best protection against Covid-19 compared to disposable surgical and washable cloth masks. N95 masks act as an extra layer to sieve 95% of the smallest particles or liquids. It is important to note that face masks with exhalation valves are not encouraged to prevent Covid-19 infection. The valves only keep the wearer safe but do not guarantee protection to the people around you.
Packs of USA-made 3- and 4-ply masks and respirators with ear loops for you and your children
Discount Safety Gear offers a wide selection of face masks made in the USA. We provide a lineup of 3- and 4-ply face masks in packs of 50 or more. The majority of our face mask assortment comes from Altor Safety. This brand takes pride in its compliance with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health standards, assuring approved health standards to keep you safe at all times. Altor Safety masks have product lines to fit adults and kids. Increase your microbial and particulate protection with face masks in multiple filtration layers.
Take good care of yourself and buy the best N95 masks at Discount Safety Gear
At Discount Safety Gear, we lined up high-quality, standard-compliant adult-sized N95 face masks for medical and non-medical use. You don't have to endure the poor air quality of a construction or industrial workplace, as well as get your worries up due to an outbreak happening at the hospital you work in. We always prioritize your safety and that is one of the important things we guarantee from our numerous options of disposal masks. Discount Safety Gear has promotions and wholesale deals up for grabs, with fair and acceptable return policies. Shop your personal protective equipment needs with us!