Choosing the right face mask during COVID-19 pandemic
Posted on April 14 2020
Since COVID-19 has become pandemic, every country is fighting for face mask. It is important to know which type of mask is good enough to protect yourself, and which ones we should save for our medical heroes.
Here are some of the terms/testings that you should know when you look for disposable face masks:
BFE - Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (can filter particles from 3 microns upwards)
PFE - Particulate Filtration Efficiency (can filter particles from 0.1 microns upwards)
VFE - Viral Filtration Efficiency (can filter particles from 0.1 to 5 microns upwards)
In short, if you find the mask you bought have done all three testings, you are pretty much good to go! If the mask passed VFE or PFE 95% or above, is it also good enough for daily usage.
In the US, they use another set of requirements for surgical mask testings namely ASTM. Level 1 is consider as low protection, Level 2 is consider as medium protection and Level 3 as high protection. You can see the reference in the chart below.
|ASTM Level 1||ASTM Level 2||ASTM Level 3|
It is advised that medical staff to use at least ASTM Level 2 surgical mask at high risk area such as hospitals. ASTM Level 1 is good enough for normal daily use.
With the global shortage of surgical masks, governments and health officials are advising people to use a cloth mask when they go out or taking public transportation. However, does cloth mask have enough protection to block the virus?
The virus is attached to coughing and sneezing droplets, of which the 0.1-10 micron droplets can form the aerosol (with the virus attached to droplets). Depending on what type of fabric you are using, most of the cloth mask will not be able to block such small droplets when you cough or sneeze. We strongly recommend you (it's been proven by many chemist and specialist) to add a filter inside the cloth mask.
RE-MASK is a cloth mask that consist of 3 layers.
Outer Layer: Made with Microfiber Water Repellent fabric.
Middle Layer: Our Filtering Technology, patented as Shield Technology Filtering, provide VFE 99.9% protection against viruses, and treated with Biomaster antimicrobial protection which protects and reduces the risk of cross-contamination which can last up to 1 week under normal usage.
Inner Layer: Made with organic cotton; suitable for any skin type. Hypoallergenic.
For more information about RE-MASK, click here.
While we save the disposable medical surgical mask for our health-care heroes, it is good to consider having a workable and sustainable cloth mask with a high protector disposable filter inside for better protection.