Wearing a mask prevents the spread of diseases, especially airborne diseases. When someone talks, coughs, or laughs, they might release germs that can be transmitted to neighboring people.
Face masks go a great way in eliminating cross-contamination. They are also pillars of controlling infections globally.
There are many types of masks varying in design and efficiency. However, all masks are manufactured to prevent infections and transmission of diseases. Have you ever used a KN95 mask?
In this in-depth article, we’ll talk about KN95 masks and everything you should know about them. You probably have heard about them, especially if you are in the medical field.
Recently, the use of these CDC-approved KN95 masks has been on the rise with the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
What Does KN95 Mean?
KN95 means a regulatory standard for filtering face space respirators certified in China.
This further means that the masks are designed to ensure minimal leakage, filtration efficiency with a tight seal. According to international standards, the KN95 masks provide the same protection as the N95 masks.
What is a KN95 Mask?
The KN95 mask is a piece of personal protective equipment. They are respiratory masks regulated by the Chinese government. Their availability of KN95 masks for sale became easy with approval from the FDA to help prevent the spread of Covid19.
The KN95 masks have been of great use in the medical field. They are designed to fit the face tightly since they can create an airtight seal.
The masks have an ear loop, making them easy to wear, unlike other masks with an attaching strap going behind the ears or neck.
They have been most people’s favorite because they are fast and easy to wear, perfectly fitting from the nose to the chin. They also prevent particles from entering our mouths and nose.
What Does KN95 Protect You From?
Whenever we hear about the KN95 masks, what comes into our minds is protection from the Covid19 virus. However, they are meant to protect us from all types of particles, including bacteria and viruses. Any particle with a diameter of more than 0.3 um can’t pass through the masks.
These particles include dust, smog, pollen, pollution, and fine particles, resulting in reduced bacterial and viral infections. These CDC-approved KN95 masks boast 93 -94% efficiency and are way better than cloth masks or surgical masks.
Build and Construction
The KN95 masks are made from non-woven high-quality cotton and melt-blown fabric. They are heavily multi-layered, with each boasting 5-layer protection. The masks made from non-woven are hydrophobic, meaning they are waterproof.
On the other hand, the ones made with hot air cotton are soft with a lower air velocity. All the materials used to make KN95 masks are hypo allergic and skin-friendly. They are designed to ensure filtration of particles.
Additionally, the KN95 masks have a 3D foldable design, an adjustable nose bridge clip that enables them to fit on your nose firmly. Moreover, these masks have an elastic ear loop to ensure it is tightened to your face, unlike other masks.
How Long Can You Use a KN95 Mask?
The KN95 masks are supposed to be used once. That’s why they have a disposable design.
However, CDC recommended their reuse due to shortage. There is a strategy for reusing them found at the National Institute For Occupational Safety And Health.
According to NIOSH, the mask can be reused but by only one person. This comes after a lack of enough KN95 masks for sale.
KN95 vs. N95 Masks
These two masks’ names have a similar-sounding, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a difference. Here are the differences between KN95 and N95 masks.
- Total inward leakage: The N95 masks have no total inward leakage TIL while the KN95 have a TIL of 8%.
- Exhalation resistance: The KN95 masks have an exhalation resistance of 250pa, while the N95 masks have a 245% resistance.
- Carbon dioxide clearance requirement: The N95 mask has a carbon dioxide clearance of 15, while the KN95 has none.
- Inhalation resistance: The inhalation resistance of N95 masks is 354 pa, and that of KN95 is 350pa.
These two types of masks have the following similarities.
- Both have a flow rate of 85L/m.
- Both masks have a test agent of NaCI.
- Both capture 95% of particles.
Qualities of an Excellent KN95 Mask
The market is flooded with so many types of masks. Therefore, it is tricky to know the best KN95 masks because there are counterfeits. The CDC has outlined the factors you should consider when buying respirators and masks from a different country.
Here are the qualities of an excellent KN95 mask.
The best KN95 masks should have more than one filtering mechanism. This means that if one mechanism fails, the others will take charge and ensure you are protected from germs. These mechanisms include diffusion, electrostatic attraction, and inertial impaction.
A mask won’t serve its purpose well if it’s not tightly sealed to your body. If gaps are left between your face and the mask, they can allow viruses to pass into your nose and mouth.
Large Airstream and Filtering Portion
A KN95 mask has a large airway, thus boosting your breathing. On the other hand, the filtering portion ensures that viruses are effectively prevented from passing into your mouth and nose.
There are many types of masks, but their effectiveness varies. Some don’t capture viruses and bacteria’s well enough, thus exposing you to infection. However, CDC-approved KN95 masks have been medically proven to filter out viruses and germs.
Unlike cloth masks, KN95 masks offer 95% protection from aerosol particulates. They became popular and readily available with the outbreak of coronavirus. Although they are mostly used by medical personnel, they can also be used by the public.
Prevention is better than cure, and if that means being in a KN95 mask all day, so be it. They may not have been regulated by a USA organization, but if you get a quality one, you’ll be safe from infection.