Here’s Why Certified KN95 Mask for Sale, not Cloth Masks, Trending
Right from the start of COVID-19 outbreak, there’s been constant confusion about steps to minimize the spread of coronavirus and the right masks to wear. We have been told by Dr. Fauci of CDC to not wear masks, wear one mask and now wear two masks and preferably surgical or N95/KN95 masks.
US CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guideline considerations for wearing masks initially were backing N95 and KN95 masks only for healthcare personnel due to scarcity. Cloth masks were declared the best choice for everyday lives. However, things changed a lot with the recent arrival of more infectious and virulent strains new variants of the coronavirus.
Some experts and countries where there are no shortages of high quality N95/KN95 and surgical masks mandate people to wear N95 or certified KN95 masks in all indoor and outdoor public spaces. It has been successfully implemented in countries that has avoided spread of COVID19. This model may be the easiest to execute to limit the spread of new and highly-transmissible coronavirus variants along with vaccination programs.
Certified KN95 Masks Make Sense, but What About Cloth Masks?
One of the primary reasons for promoting cloth masks was the limited supply of certified N95 and KN95 masks. Another was their efficacy in limiting the spread of novel coronavirus. But these reasons may not apply against new coronavirus strains.
Recent findings reveal that cloth masks don’t work effectively as the filtration depends on the type of cloth material. The filtration capacity of plain cloth masks is much less than N95, KN95, cloth face masks with filter, and triple-layer disposable surgical masks. This is because N95/KN95 contain two layers of melt blown layer. This special material is made of micro weaves of material to provide higher grade of filtration compared with cloth masks.
Thin cloth masks, scarfs and folded bandanas simply do not provide high level of protection against the new coronavirus variants. That’s why CDC is now advocating usage of surgical masks or KN95 masks rather than cloth masks. If you chose to use cloth mask, you can insert disposable filters in the cloth face masks with filter pockets so they can reuse the cloth masks and replace filter weekly. Quality filters usually add extra 5 layers of protection similar to KN95 masks including two layers of the key melt-blown layer. This would signification improve filtration, protection and is also environmentally friendly.
The process of replacing cloth masks is also gaining momentum in other countries. Recently, health officials in France also advised using masks with a filtration rate of over 90% and to avoid masks with filtration capacity below 70%. Unfortunately, of much cloth masks, unless made of special material or with added inserted disposable filters often belong to the below 70% category.
Furthermore, most cloth masks are not regulated and do not undergo thorough standardized filtration testing. Their protection level depends purely upon the fabric’s thickness, quality, and craftsmanship of the maker so users beware.
There’s Still Hope for Cloth Masks in place of Certified KN95 Mask?
N95 and certified KN95 masks are, no doubt, the first choice when supply and pricing is not an issue. But there are still options to use cloth masks and get protection against new coronavirus strains. For example:
- Multi-Layered Cloth Masks
Expert recommendations are against plain cloth masks, but multi-layered cloth masks or cloth face mask with inserted filter can still be beneficial. Because of multiple layers/filters improve filtration rate, they can prevent more than 70% of particles from entering your airway.
- Face Mask Filter Inserts
High-quality face mask filter inserts, when added to a mask, provide additional protection. One can use them with a plain cloth mask, disposable face mask, or buy a cloth mask with filter pocket. A good-quality face mask insert has multiple layers. Many are waterproof or contain copper, activated charcoal, silver or melt blown layer. When added to cloth masks, chose one with melt-blown layers because it offers highest filtration rate.
- Wear Two Masks
A single cloth mask is considered less efficient compared to two. Protection level increases when people wear two masks instead of one. Experts now suggest that it’s time to double or upgrade face masks.
Read it: What are major types of Masks and their Importance?
As cloth masks are less efficient in filtrating, to maximize prevention the spread of new coronavirus variants through respiratory droplets, one should consider kn95 face mask and surgical masks. You may also consider adding quality disposable filter to your cloth masks.