Whether you’re wearing a cloth mask you made yourself or a disposable non-surgical mask, the fact is masks are a part of your everyday life. They’ve become as commonplace to us as wearing a hat and gloves to protect ourselves when it is cold. When there’s a pandemic outside, we put on our masks to keep ourselves (and others) safe.
Even though you can now buy a mask from virtually any retailer (you can even find them in gas stations), making sure you buy your masks from a reputable retailer is key. The CDC offers guidance for mask wearing, and following their recommendations and guidance can help you:
- Find a mask that effectively protects you and others;
- Determine whether a mask supplier is reputable or not.
If you feel lost trying to determine whether or not your masks are effective, and whether or not you’re buying from a company that creates safe, high-quality masks, we can help.
Hope Health Supply has been delivering high-quality, effective personal protective equipment and supplies throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. They provide a continuous, reliable supply of the health and wellness products you need to keep yourself and your family safe, at prices that are never gouged.
We’ll talk about what medical grade masks are, who should use them, and how wearing a KN95 mask can help you get a higher level of filtration than a traditional cloth mask without using supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers. We’ll also talk about where you can get these masks, and how you can determine whether a company is reputable or not.
What Are Medical Grade Masks?
Medical grade masks include surgical masks and N95 respirators. These masks are most frequently used by individuals in the healthcare field to protect themselves and their patients during exams, procedures, and surgeries.
Surgical masks are disposable masks that are designed to create a barrier between a medical professional and liquids in their immediate environment (i.e. during a surgical procedure dental exam, etc.).
Surgical masks are available in different thicknesses depending on the environment where they will be worn. They’re most effective in protecting the wearer from large droplet particles (like blood and other bodily fluids).
These types of masks should not be worn by non-medical professionals. Not only are they in short supply, so they should be reserved for those healthcare workers who need them most, they aren’t all designed to be effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Generally speaking, surgical masks are typically very loose fitting, which makes them less effective in blocking respiratory particles. Additionally, they are not intended to block or filter very small articles in the air.
N95 respirators are designed to offer the wearer an exceptionally high filtration level. In fact, an N95 can filter up to 95% of very small, 0.3 micron particles. An N95 respirator has a very close fit on the wearer’s face, and creates a seal around their nose and mouth.
An N95 respirator is used by medical professionals to achieve safety for themselves and for their patients. N95 masks that are approved and cleared by the FDA are:
- One use only. Once the respirator has been worn, it should be discarded, and never shared with another person.
- Approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and bear the NIOSH seal.
The CDC and FDA both advise that surgical and N95 masks not be worn by the general public. In addition to reserving these types of masks to healthcare and frontline workers, these masks may be ineffective for some people, like those with breathing trouble or breathing related issues.
You can still get effective levels of filtration from non-medical masks by using KN95 masks, and buying them from trustworthy suppliers. Here’s everything you need to know about the KN95, and how to buy them.
What is a KN95 Mask?
A KN95 mask is similar to the N95 respirator, but not exactly the same. The KN95 is equivalent to an N95, but does not meet the exact FDA requirements to be considered a respirator.
- KN95 masks do not need to be fit-tested like N95 masks.
- KN95 masks sometimes use ear loops instead of an elastic headband like an N95.
These differences aside, the KN95 is still rated to filter 95% of 0.3 micron particles, so the wearer of a KN95 mask can expect it to perform similarly to an N95.
Like the N95, the KN95 is a single use product and intended to be used by one person only. You should never share your KN95 mask, and you should dispose of it once it has become soiled or has been worn for a longer period of time.
Compared to a traditional cloth mask, the KN95 will offer better filtration for the wearer of the mask. A traditional cloth mask is not rated to filter as much in terms of respiratory particles as the KN95, however cloth masks are still effective when worn correctly.
If you’re looking for a mask that provides the ultimate in non-medical grade filtration, the KN95 is the best bet. Be warned, however, many manufacturers offer counterfeit KN95 masks, which can be ineffective and/or constructed with unsafe materials.
Here’s how to determine if your KN95 mask is authentic, and if your mask supplier is reputable.
Where Can I Buy KN95 Masks?
It’s no surprise that some manufacturers and retailers attempt to sell counterfeit masks (and usually at skyrocket prices). Because the KN95 isn’t an FDA-approved respirator, it’s easier for companies to sneak in fake products that look the same as a KN95, but haven’t been tested by a NIOSH equivalent agency and aren’t FDA registered.
A KN95 mask should always be FDA registered. This means that the FDA has reviewed the product and approved the device for personal, non-medical use. You can find out if your mask has been registered with the FDA by looking for the manufacturer name on the mask or packaging, and looking for the manufacturer on this FDA-approved list.
The KN95 masks offered by Hope Health Supply are all KN95 registered and have been constructed under the highest standards in the industry. Their masks are in stock and ready to ship, and available to you at a price you can afford. Plus, they never price gouge when supply is in high demand.
They also offer bulk orders of their KN95 masks, so no matter what industry you are in or how many masks you need, they have you covered.
You shouldn’t wear an N95 or surgical mask during the COVID-19 pandemic. These supplies should be reserved for medical and healthcare workers worldwide. Instead, you can opt for a KN95 mask which offers the same level of filtration as an N95 but is available to the public.
Make sure your mask supplier offers KN95 masks that are all registered with the FDA. You shouldn’t buy from a suspicious supplier or purchase masks that aren’t registered; they could be ineffective or dangerous.
Thankfully, Hope Health Supply is one company that was founded for the purpose of helping folks keep safe during the ongoing battle against COVID-19 by providing accessible personal protective supplies.