How to Select the Right Medical Masks to Protect You and Your Family from the Virus

Masks play a vital role in preventing the spread of the virus. In this article, we will discuss the classification of masks and some very important information based on the standards of certain countries, such as China, the United States, and Europe, and try to break some Rumors about masks and Q&As about face masks.

Please bear in mind: Only those that meet the certain pharmaceutical industry standard(Here in China the standard is YY0469-2011) can be called “medical surgical masks”.

Let’s dive into the types of medical masks first.

According to the literature of the Beijing Medical Device Inspection Institute’s materials, currently China’s medical masks are mainly divided into three types:

  1. Medical protective mask with the highest protection level;
  2. Medical surgical masks commonly used in invasive operating environments such as operating rooms;
  3. Ordinary grade disposable medical masks

Firstly, medical protective masks

What does a medical mask look like?

Equivalent to cup-shaped mask. Common arches and butterflies are shown in the figure below :

cup shaped mask

Compared with long medical surgical masks and ordinary medical masks, medical protective masks have a good fit with the wearer’s face, can filter particles in the air, and block pollutants such as droplets, blood, body fluids and secretions The filtration efficiency of non-oily particles can reach 95%.

Medical Surgical Masks

Medical surgical masks, which implement the standard YY0469-2011(China’s Standard of Medical Surgical Masks), are commonly used medical masks in operating rooms and other environments where there is a risk of bodily fluids and blood splashes. They can block blood and bodily fluids from passing through the masks and contaminate the wearer. At the same time, the filtration efficiency of bacteria is over 95% However, the filtration efficiency of particles is limited, and most of them have a rectangular design, and the adhesion to the face is not as tight as that of a medical protective mask.

Medical Mask Layers

Common medical surgical masks include strap type and ear hook type.

Two types of medical mask

Third, ordinary medical masks

Ordinary medical masks have many names (medical care and disposable medical belong to this category). Medical masks without the words “protection” and “surgical” are ordinary medical masks. It is not required to have a barrier effect on blood, and there is no requirement for tightness, so it is only used for wearing in a general medical environment.

The common ordinary medical masks are mostly ear-hung, and their appearance is similar to that of ear-hung surgical masks, as shown below.

ordinary mask

Q & A

Question 1 : What is GB19083-2010 for medical protective masks and YY0469-2011 for medical surgical masks?

The outer packaging of the product is printed with YY0469-2011 standard, which can be confirmed as a medical surgical mask.

Someone said online that the spelling of the name of the mask’s outer packaging completely conforms to the six words “medical surgical masks” is also a way to determine whether it is a medical surgical mask. Is it true?

Not exactly! In fact, because of different manufacturers and different product batches, these six words may not all be there.

Question 2: Is the thicker mask better?

Answer 2: The filter performance of the mask is mainly determined by the filter material in the middle layer. The commonly used filter material is a meltblown non-woven fabric made of polypropylene ultrafine fibers. It is thin, breathable, and can filter efficiently. Particulate matter in the air. The filter material is not as thick as possible. The performance of meltblown non-woven fabrics produced by different manufacturers varies greatly. The specific performance needs to be measured by professional equipment. Masks can only have good filtration efficiency if they contain this kind of filter material. If only ordinary needle-punched nonwovens and spunlace nonwovens are not available, and no melt-blown nonwovens are used, good filtering effects cannot be achieved. This is why the three masks sold on the street are not filtering well enough.

Question 3 : Do I have to buy a mask with the highest level of protection?

Answer 3 : When wearing a medical mask, you should choose the appropriate level and type according to the type of transmission of the pollutant and the risk. Although the medical protective mask with high protection level has better protection effect, because of the high filter material level, good adhesion and higher breathing resistance, long-term wearing will increase the burden of breathing, causing difficulty in breathing and other discomforts. At the same time, breathability and Hygroscopicity is also worse, which means worse comfort.

Medical surgical masks and medical protective masks can block the pollution caused by blood and body fluid splashes, but if you really need to block the pollution of airborne particles and pathogenic microorganisms, please choose to wear medical protective masks.

Sort according to protection level from high to low: N95 (Medical Protective Masks) > Medical Surgical Masks > General Medical Masks > Other various three non-masks > None

Question 4: One mask is not enough. I wear 2 or more masks. Does it work better?

Answer 4 : Some researchers in Huazhong University of Science and Technology have done relevant research, using a single disposable medical mask and a double-layer disposable medical mask as a stack, comparing the filtration efficiency of the particulate matter under different flow rates.

The results show that there is almost no difference in the particle filtration efficiency between the two groups at a lower extraction flow rate (10-70 L / min). At a higher extraction flow rate (80-100 L / min), the filtration efficiency of the double-layer mask Significantly higher than single-layer masks.

Particles Filtering efficiency Test

Particulate matter filtration efficiency of different types of masks at different extraction flow rates

Note: The data in the table are median filtration efficiency; A: N95 mask; B: disposable medical mask; A + B: N95 mask superimposed disposable medical mask; B + B: double-layer disposable medical mask.

However, in actual wear, it is unlikely to have a flow rate of 80-100 L per minute! With multi-layer masks, not only the protective effect is not enhanced, but the wearing comfort is weakened.

Q5: How to process the abandoned masks?

A5 : It is best to prepare a plastic bag for unused masks. Bare masks that contact clothing or other things will increase the risk of transmission.

When removing the mask, try not to touch the outside of the mask. Remember to wash your hands immediately after removing the mask. Try not to reuse disposable medical masks. Once the mask is broken or dirty, it needs to be replaced with a new one immediately.

Currently expanding the production of masks and the continued demand for masks can make the number of masks circulating in the market reach hundreds of millions. The use of a large number of masks also means that in the future, a large number of masks will be discarded or disposed of after use. So how should these disposable masks be used after being worn and can no longer be used to avoid new infections?

“In the hospital, these masks will be put into a clean, airtight bag and thrown into a yellow trash can.” Tao Xiaoqing, director of the Department of Interventional Vascular Medicine at Weihai Haida Hospital, said that medical waste is generally divided into black, yellow and red… Among them, black plastic bags contain domestic waste, yellow plastic bags contain medical waste (including infectious waste), and red plastic contains radioactive waste and other special medical waste.

disposal of used masks

The relevant person in charge of the Chinese Preventive Medicine Association said that masks are medical waste, according to the “Category of Medical Waste Classification” cotton balls, cotton swabs, drainage slivers, gauze, and other dressings; disposable sanitary products, disposable medical supplies, and Disposable medical devices are infectious waste.

And more masks are used outside the hospital to prevent and avoid infection. These masks are not necessarily infected with the virus. What should I do?

Du Huanzheng, a professor at the School of Environment and Sustainable Development of Tongji University, said in an exclusive interview with the reporter of Science and Technology Daily that wearing masks is to prevent virus infection. Masks that have not been exposed to the new coronavirus are treated as general solid waste and domestic waste. However, judging from the current situation, ordinary citizens can’t judge whether they have been exposed to the new coronavirus when they go out. In accordance with the principle of caution, from the perspective of maximizing the protection of the life and health of the public, it is recommended to put used masks in sealed bags such as plastic bags. In cities such as Shanghai where garbage classification is implemented, put sealed bags in “harmful garbage” bins.

What if some cities do not have stricter rules for garbage separation and disposal? Tao Xiaoqing suggested that the mask waste at home should be placed in a bag to avoid secondary pollution. High temperature and medical 75% alcohol can kill the new coronavirus. It is recommended to use alcohol spray to sterilize the bag and seal it before discarding it.

As for how long the masks infected with the virus will still be able to infect, related virus experts said that the new coronavirus is RNA virus, and the survival time of RNA virus detached from cells in the air is currently uncertain, ranging from hours to days.

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  • Type : Disposable 3PLY Non Sterile Face Mask GB/T 32610-2016 (50pcs)
  • Certified with GB/T 32610-2016
  • Qty : 50pcs / box
  • Type : Disposable 3PLY Protective Face Mask GB/T 32610-2016
  • Certified with GB/T 32610-2016 
  • Qty : 50pcs / box
  • Type : 3PLY Disposable Medical Face Mask
  • Certified with YY/T0969-2013 , CE & FDA
  • Qty : 50pcs / box