Masks may not have been a consideration for most people in 2019, but that changed dramatically in 2020. In recent recommendations from the CDC and global health authorities, the use of face masks is strongly recommended in most areas and mandatory in others.
It can be confusing to attempt to shop for masks for personal use or for daily use in the workplace. With so many different types, fabrics, styles, and levels of protection available, getting the best mask for protection, comfort, and cost may seem like a challenge.
The three main types of face masks in use in the general public include cloth face coverings, 3-Ply face masks, and N95 or KN95 respirators. Each mask type has its different varieties with benefits and potential issues for use.
Cloth masks have been recommended as the minimum level of protection for general use in areas where social distancing is not possible. These masks are practical as they are easy to use, available to virtually anyone with access to a scarf, bandana, or a piece of fabric. They do offer a small amount of reduction in the travel of aerosols, but only by about 10-30%. Aerosols are small droplets of water expelled during coughing or sneezing that may carry the COVID-19 virus.
Cloth masks do help to prevent the spread of aerosols, but there are many variations based on the type of fabric used and how the mask fits the wearer. Cloth masks are loose and allow gaps around the nose and the sides of the face allowing moisture droplets out when the individual exhales. These masks should be washed and dried frequently, ideally after each use, and discarded with any signs of wear.
It is important to realize that research has not shown that cloth masks, or other masks, protect the wearer from becoming infected if others in the area are infected and are not wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
KN95 & N95 Masks
Used in medical facilities, the N95 or KN95 mask is a respirator. It works to reduce the risk of the wearer’s exposure to airborne aerosols, fluid splashes, and droplets, and any viruses, bacteria, or other contaminants in those liquids.
The N95 mask is designed to fit tightly across the nose, chin and the sides of the face, and has a more structured form to allow this tight fit around the mask. Use of the N95 mask eliminates 95% of airborne contaminants and particles of the 0.1 to 0.3 size, which is the target droplet size to carry COVID-19.
Ideally, the N95 mask is designed for single use. When used multiple times or when interacting with multiple patients or environments with viruses present, there is a decrease in the efficiency of the mask in protecting the wearer. If worn more than once, the hands should be sanitized before touching the mask, and the mask should be stored in a sealed container and clearly labeled to prevent accidental use by another person.
With shortages of these masks, the use of N95 and KN95 masks should be reserved for medical professionals, first responders, or those working with high-risk populations in specific settings.
Disposable 3-Ply Masks
Surgical masks are not the same as medical N95/KN95 respirators. The 3-ply masks we offer at Paragon Global Supply are single-use, disposable, and comfortably fitting masks that are designed to cover the mouth from the bridge of the nose to under the chin.
These masks are designed to prevent the wearer from spreading droplets potentially containing COVID-19. Additionally, these masks can be worn by infected individuals to help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to caregivers and family members. The three-layer design allows these masks to filter out particles as small as 0.3 microns effectively in laboratory tests.
Wearing a Paragon Global Supply 3-ply mask with 99% bacterial filtration efficiency, unlike te N95, KN95, and the average 3-ply which only offer 95%, is an ideal solution for daily wear at home, commuting, dining out at restaurants, shopping, traveling, children’s activities, and at work. These masks fit to the face to avoid the gaps and issues with a cloth mask, while providing a superior level of bacterial filtration and protection of those around you.
At the same time, 3-ply masks are lighter than most cloth masks, and they are easy to keep in place with loops that secure around the ears. The three different layers in the design offer an exterior protective layer, a middle filtration layer, and a soft inner layer for comfort, even with a full day of use.
To get your own 3-ply mask today visit our online store at https://shop.paragonglobalsupply.com/
Be Safe, Feel Comfortable, Breathe Freely.
3-Ply Disposable Face Masks (50-pack)
Starting at $12.99