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Discover the types of masks and their effect on COVID-19

During the last two years, and thanks to the recommendations of recognized entities such as the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the use of different types of masks has been requested in the framework of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, although the use of masks is no longer mandatory in most countries, their use is still recommended in enclosed public spaces, for persons at risk and for those unvaccinated or without booster vaccination.

With the above in mind, this article will discuss the types of masks, how effective the masks are not only in protecting the individual against COVID-19 but as a barrier to other viruses and fluids. 

How effective are the masks?

During this period of time when the use of surgical face masks by civilians became popular, many people questioned whether they were really effective against COVID-19 pandemic and other viruses. Thus, although there were already studies on the effectiveness of surgical face masks in preventing the transfer of viruses, more were created in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

Thus, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention published a study in February 2022 on the different types of masks, where it states that N95 and KN95 masks are highly effective in filtering out virus particles and that their constant use reduces the possibility of contracting COVID-19 by 83%.

On the other hand, they also discuss other different types of masks, for example, fabric masks, which have a 56% lower probability of contagion and surgical face masks with a 66% decrease in the probability of contagion.

Types of masks

Once we have discussed how effective masks are, we will discuss the types of masks currently on the market and their specific benefits and drawbacks.

Cloth masks

One of the most common types of masks used during the pandemic were cloth masks, because the constant use of disposable masks concerned many people about the large amount of waste that was being generated. 

However, of all the different types of masks on the market, they are the least effective. Thus, although they show an acceptable response to occasional use by civilians, they are not useful for health professionals.

In order for them to be used and have a certain level of effectiveness, they must have several layers. Firstly, they must have an inner layer of absorbent material; secondly, there must be a non-absorbent layer, for example, polypropylene; finally, there must be a non-absorbent outer layer, usually polyester.

KN95 and N95

Although the KN95 and N95 are different types of masks, they both belong to the same classification: respirators. Respirators are a type of mask that protect the individual from inhaling toxic gases and vapors, as well as viral pathogens and have shown incredible results, making them one of the best masks

N95 and KN95 masks are among the most protective masks on the market. They have been proven to block more than 90% of particles. With this in mind, N95 and KN95 masks are not only used in healthcare environments, but also in places where there may be contact with toxic gases, for example, in some construction sites.

Due to its high level of efficacy, experts recommend making the supply available to healthcare professionals, specifically those surgical respirators. For simple procedures or day-to-day use, a surgical face mask is best. 

Although these two types of masks are the most widely recognized, there are other types of respirators: R99, R100, R95, N100, N99, P99, P100 and P95. However, it is very important that in order to certify their effectiveness, they must be approved by a governmental entity. In this case, Health Canada.

Disposable surgical face mask

Surgical face masks are perhaps the best masks and the most recognized and used by health professionals and citizens alike. They create a barrier that protects the mucous cavities not only from foreign fluids but also from airborne viruses.

Like surgical gowns, surgical face masks have different levels of certification depending on the level of protection they offer. There are the types of minimal protection masks, which are used in simple procedures and do not involve fluids, for example, a routine medical examination; level one masks, which are more resistant to fluids, but are still used for low-risk situations; level two, which are thicker and resist fluids and even aerosols; finally, there are level three surgical face masks, which are used in procedures where there is a high probability of fluid transfer, such as in surgery. 

Surgical face masks are commonly made of polypropylene, which is not woven but sealed to prevent holes. There are also certain types of surgical face masks that are made of polystyrene or polyester. 

It should be clarified that these masks are disposable and should not be used more than once. When the procedure in question is finished, toxic waste should be thrown away. Likewise, if it gets wet or if you notice any kind of tearing.

Finally, if you have been wondering where to buy masks for the coronavirus, you should first know that, following the COVID-19 pandemic, many unscrupulous companies appeared that launched for sale both surgical face masks and respirators KN95 and N95, which were not designed under international standards, did not have certifications and, therefore, did not work properly for its purpose. Thus, when acquiring any type of masks, you should make sure that they are from a trusted site that has the indicated certifications.

So, no more wondering where to buy coronavirus masks. At Divocco Medical we create masks of the highest standards, which are supervised by medical professionals. So, if you want to buy surgical face masks in the Canadian area, we recommend you to go to Divocco Medical. Especially if you work in the healthcare field or are in constant need of supplies, it is possible to negotiate a regular delivery so that you will never run out of surgical face masks or respirators.