What are the different types of face masks based on function? Which are useful for coronavirus pandemic?

What are the different types of face masks based on function? Which are useful for coronavirus pandemic?
  • Ever since the coronavirus hit the world, face masks have become mandatory.
  • And as is the tendency for humans, it has gone from a necessary accessory to a fashion statement.
  • Based on their degree of benefit, face masks come in different categories.

And then the designs are also varied. To add, creativity has captured this accessory and various fashionable face masks are also available on the market now.

Face mask types based on function

CDC and WHO have approved basic and surgical masks for public use.  These masks help an individual in avoiding the spread of infection to others.

To some extent, they are also useful to avoid the individual catching the infection from others. But the entry of the infection from the eyes is also known and face masks may not save there. Face shields are beneficial in these cases and more protective.

Surgical masks (Source: Amazon)

The different types of face masks are:

  • Surgical face mask
  • N95 respirator
  • KN95 respirator
  • Self-contained breathing apparatus
  • Full face respirator
  • Basic cloth face mask
  • Filtering facepiece respirator
  • P100 respirator/gas mask
  • Full-length face shield

The masks useful for the coronavirus pandemic

Surgical face masks are made of thin, disposable material and are mainly used in hospital setups by doctors and nurses. N95 respirators are reserved for medical professionals. They are in short supply now.

KN95 masks are similar to N95 masks and can filter out 95% of tiny particles. The only difference is that N95 can additionally remove even larger particles.

Cloth Masks best for coronavirus (Source: Pinterest)

Self-contained breathing apparatus helps one to breathe fresh air in places where dangerous chemicals or smoke fill the air. They are meant for firefighters and though useful against coronavirus are not required during the pandemic.

A full-face respirator is useful when a person feels it difficult to breathe through a surgical or cloth mask. But it is useful for those who have breathing difficulties.

Cloth face masks are extremely useful during this pandemic. It protects and one can also easily wash it. It is cheaper in the long run. One can use it in a public place.

Those masks are not good for the coronavirus pandemic

Filtering facepiece respirator is not so good for coronavirus pandemics. It helps to filter particulate matter such as wood dust, other dust, animal dander, and the like. P100 respirator/gas mask is for painters and woodworkers and not useful for COVID-19 infection.

Filtering facepiece respirator not recommended for coronavirus (Source: Amazon)

A full-length face shield is made of a plastic sheet that covers the face from the forehead to the chin. A cushioned headband secures it in place.

It can protect against coronavirus but one cannot use it for a prolonged duration of time. It gets harder to breathe in through it over time.

Therefore, cloth face masks are the best in the current scenario. Their protecting capacity is more and the soft, cool, and breathable cotton fibers allow the wearer to be comfortable in it.

Additionally, they are a perfect fit on the face and can mold as per the ups and downs of the facial features!

Also, read Will mascara overtake lipstick after 2020 due to coronavirus pandemic and face mask use?

CDC guidelines on his wearing face masks

P100 respirator (Source: Amazon)

-snug and comfortable fit along the face side

-secure with ear loops or back-of-head ties

-should have multiple layers

-allows unrestricted breathing

-should be able to be machine-washed, dried, and laundered.

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