Behind The KN95 Mask
As new knowledge has become available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have continually updated their set of guidelines and information related to the coronavirus and COVID-19. Along the way, the CDC put out positions regarding the usage of non-medical types of personal protective facial gear as a way to help slow down the spread of the disease.
At this time, the Centers for Disease Control are now releasing a statement that recommends that anyone who is leaving their home should not do so without having the recommended safety equipment on their person. For the average person, this means a face mask that meets the stated specifications.
There are many schools of thought on what makes a suitable mask which ranges from the homemade variety to the insanely expensive medical-grade masks which require custom fitting to be effective and everything in between. Still, none of these options tend to really fit the recommended options put forth by the experts who are supposed to be in the know.
Approved By The CDC
With the long-standing shortage of PPE for doctors and nurses, people are left wondering who regular people can stay safe without taking needed equipment away from those who need it the most.
The real answer can be found in the KN95.
Even though this mask is quite nearly equivalent to the well-known standard in protective medical equipment which has been the standard among most American hospitals, the KN95 has long been the standard in most European hospitals. What this all boils down to is that there are certain compliance criteria that keep the KN95 from becoming the standard among all hospitals in the United States, even though they have comparable effectiveness.
With regard to performance metrics, the two types of masks are nearly identical in key performance categories. In essence, the two different types of masks are rated to filter as much as 95% of fine particles above .3 microns in size. How big is a micron? Just imagine a single grain of table salt and then try to comprehend that that grain is about 100 microns on average. Slice that single grain of salt into 100 pieces and what you will have is something that is still three times too large to find its way through either of the masks in question.
Is The KN95 The Right Choice?
It's more about protecting others than it is about protecting yourself.
a medical-quality product, the KN95 personal protective facial mask is known to protect not only the person wearing it but any person whom the wearer may come in contact with. With all of the states that are in the reopening process and more and more workers all over the country returning to their jobs at the workplace, social distancing is inevitably going to falter to some degree. This being the case it is more important than ever to find ways to stay six feet or more 6 feet apart. Still, when all else fails it will be a safe and effective mask that can make all of the difference.
When it comes to certification, KN95 masks are subjected to rigorous testing utilizing the participation of the test subjects in order to perform a mandated 'seal check'. It is this seal that offers the greatest degree of protection against viruses of the most dangerous nature.
Due to the fact that airflow is regulated both while going and out of the mask, wearing the mask while out in public will ensure that the wearer won't inadvertently inhale dangerous particles when a coworker coughs or sneezes no matter what the cause.
Four Layer Protection
KN95 masks have four separate filtering layers as a method of capturing progressively smaller particles.
Research has shown that most homemade masks only have a single-layer and a small percentage have two. Either way, these masks are generally made out of soft and breathable materials such as cotton. In effect, this 'breathability' factor is exactly what makes masks of this kind highly ineffective. In general, the woven fabric ends up being too loose to prevent small particles from penetrating. All of this ends up rendering these masks largely ineffective when coming in direct contact with contagious particles.
On the other hand, KN95 masks are made with four non-woven layers in order to capture increasingly smaller particles in order to provide the greatest amount of protection. Due to the fact that this kind of protection can come at the cost of being able to breathe easily, KN95 masks which have met the mandated standards are made with a one-way exhalation valve to provide greater comfort and ease of use over many hours of use.
The Proper Way To Use Your KN95
Should you use your mask every single time you leave the house? The simple answer is yes. That means every time, no matter the circumstances, no matter how long you're out there.
When it comes to putting on your KN95 Mask, the very first thing that needs to be done is to wash your hands thoroughly. Failing to do this will only expose you to germs that may have been placed on the mask even before you put it on. And, there's little point in wearing a mask that is supposed to prevent you from breathing in microscopic organisms if you end up getting some on the mask before you even put it on. So, follow the CDC guidelines and wash your hands for at least twenty seconds with soap until you have a thick lather and be sure to use hot water in the process.
Some people like the idea of singing a short song to count off the time but others say that concentrating on the washing of each finger as well as the palm and back of each hand is a better way to cover all the bases and for the necessary amount of time.
After you have done your due diligence with washing your hands, just place the mask with the metal nose strip over the top of your nose. Then, simply squeeze the metal nose strip down over the bridge of your nose that you get a tight fit. This will create a custom seal that will prevent any unwanted gaps. After that is accomplished, you can just place the two straps over each ear and make any adjustments needed to fit it all around your nose and mouth securely.
Getting The Full Benefits Of The KN95 Mask
Medical facilities have developed a process that can sterilize masks, gowns, and other equipment with the help of powerful UV light.
In a perfect world where there was no shortage of masks, we could use them once and then dispose of them properly. However, in the real world where there is a shortage in many areas, we have had to find ways to safely use masks over and over again. This is why the medical community has developed a number of ways to safely clean and reuse masks whenever possible both because of the shortage and for fiscal reasons.
The recent development of high powered machines that utilize Ultra-Violet light has helped hospitals to safely save and reuse masks but this technology is not available for home use because of the dangers of working with this method and the high cost of the machines needed. However, there are a number of methods that the average person can use, even though the CDC does not have any officially approved methods.
What is known is that research has indicated that a seventy percent solution of ethanol sprayed inside and out on a mask and then baked in a conventional oven for ten minutes at one-hundred and fifty-eight degrees Fahrenheit can produce a fully functional and sterile KN95 Mask that is ready for reuse for a minimum of two times. Each additional cleaning and reuse is likely to produce diminishing protection.
Purchasing High-Quality Masks
Protect your future with the purchase of high-quality masks.
For those of us who are not able to stay at home or who must come in close contact with others, the best available option for protection is a high-quality KN95 mask. This is mainly due to the fact that they have been proven to be highly effective against the coronavirus and similar pathogens, they are easy to use can customizable to your face, they fit the criteria for medical use, they can be reused safely and the cost is quite reasonable compared to inferior choices on the market today.
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