Everything You Need To Know About KN95 Masks
With the inevitable easing of lock-down restrictions, people across the country still continue to seek protection against Covid-19 infection. As people may be eager to get back to a state of normal, it still remains to be seen what that “normal” is going to look like.
It is important during this time to remain knowledgeable about the types of equipment available to safely prevent the spread of the virus, and there are many different types of masks available out there.
Due in part to the shortages of N95 respirator masks, you may have seen a surge in popularity of the KN95 mask that has recently been made available on the market.
The name is very similar to the N95 respirator mask that is approved by the FDA for medical use, so you may be wondering what the differences are between these two. You may also have also heard some negative press surrounding certain manufacturers of these masks.
So are KN95 masks and how safe are they at preventing the spread of Covid-19? Here’s everything you need to know.
What Is A KN95 Mask?
Simply put, KN95 masks are the Chinese equivalent to the N95 masks in the U.S., and are regulated by the Chinese government under regulation GB2626-2006. Both N95 and KN95 masks can filter up to 95% of particles in the air and are made to create an airtight seal around the user’s face. As of April 8th 2020, the FDA authorized the emergency use of KN95 masks due to a shortage of NIOSH approved N95 masks.
How Does The KN95 Work?
The KN95 masks work exactly like the U.S. KN95 equivalent, in that they filter 95% of particles in the air. They are said to capture particles measuring 0.3 microns in diameter. Although the Covid-19 virus is still technically smaller in size, the mask is nonetheless considered a great advantage in preventing it from entering the mask wearer’s system.
What Makes A KN95 Mask Effective
The KN95 masks are effective due to their construction as well as design. They are made up of two outer layers of non-woven material that filter particles measuring 0.5 microns in diameter. In between these layers, the masks are outfitted with an activated carbon filter layer to absorb chemical pollution as well as a thick cotton layer that filters out particles that measure 0.3 microns in diameter. The KN95 masks are also designed and tested for appropriate fit to achieve a less than 8% leakage.
Where Should You Wear A Mask?
Wearing masks will most likely become a daily need for many people moving forward in the current and post-Covid-19 world. It is certainly recommended, if not mandated, in most places in the U.S. to wear a mask anytime you are out in public. This is especially important in enclosed and public setting such as the supermarket, health clinics, or simply going out in public for a necessary break from the indoors. But not all masks were created equal, and some are scientifically proven to be more successful at protecting against viruses, including the current Covid-19.
How to use the mask properly
The KN95 masks are made to be worn in cases when you have to be around other people, such as your commute on public transport or in the office. They are thicker than normal medical masks and are not designed to be worn for a long period of time. It is typically recommended to wear the masks for 30 minutes at-a-time. In order for them to work properly, KN95 masks should also be fitter properly and be disposed of in case they get wet or dirty. Typically, you can expect a single mask to last over one week with proper use and care. You cannot wear a KN95 mask if you have a beard or even stubble, so maintaining facial hair is very important. Some people may experience trouble breathing while wearing these masks.
FDA & CDC On KN95 Masks
Because of a wide shortage of N95 respirator masks across healthcare facilities in the country, in April 2020, the FDA authorized the use of KN95 masks as suitable alternatives under emergency circumstances. These masks were not initially required to pass FDA testing; however, when the FDA did perform quality assurance testing they found that many of the samples failed to meet the standards for use in medical settings. This forced the FDA to issue a further guidance limiting the use of certain KN95 masks as interchangeable with N95 masks in healthcare settings.
Other Uses For KN95 Masks
Although it can be hard to imagine, these masks also have many useful applications past the Covid-19 pandemic. When the time comes to return to work, there are certain careers that will benefit from KN95 masks more than others. These professions include:
In many cases, the KN95 masks can protect the user from exposure to harmful chemicals in the work setting, preventing health problems and ensuring a safe work environment.
Pros & Cons of KN95
The benefits of wearing a medical-grade mask during the Covid-19 pandemic are pretty self-evident. This potentially life-saving tool can greatly reduce the spread of the virus. Aside from social distancing, this is one of the best modes of protection that anyone has right now.
There are also a number of other useful applications for these masks in work settings that require exposure to harmful chemicals or particles. The KN95 masks can filter up to 95% of particles in the air, as small as 0.3 microns.
On the other hand, there are a few cons to KN95 masks. The most obvious is the stream of low-quality products that fail to live up to the high medical standards. Yet, for those of us who are not in the medical field, these still represent a huge improvement from a surgical or makeshift mask.
Another con to the KN95 masks is that they are slightly more difficult to breathe in than the N95 respirator. Some users might find it difficult to wear them even for the recommended 30-minute limit.
While it’s important to consider both sides, we think you will agree that the overall benefits of the KN95 masks far outweigh the possible shortcomings – especially during such drastic times.
Buying Reliable KN95 Masks
If you’re looking to purchase KN95 masks for you or your family, it’s important that you find a reputable retailer like OfficeCrave.com. When shopping online for KN95’s, It is important to look for the best quality product you can find as cheap products have caused some recent backlash.
At OfficeCrave.com we carry the highest-quality KN95 masks sourced directly from reputable suppliers. Take a look at our huge selection of masks and other PPE’s while supplies last.