There is no doubt that face masks are essential items especially in times of lockdown like the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been a sharp increase in the price of face masks since everyone needs it and people are becoming cautious.
Face masks prevent spreading of COVID-19
According to the WHO (World Health Organization), face masks are only compulsory for those who need it. This refers to those who are sick and those working in the medical fields. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic causing fear across the world, face masks have become necessary prevention from the transmission of droplets between one person to another. Taiwan and other few countries have reported success in reducing positive cases since their people started using face masks.
N95 – Top of the line face mask
The N95 is considered to be the best in this product line. Standardized by the NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety), N stands for ‘Non-Resistant to Oil’, it can filter a minimum of 95% capacity of viruses. In fact, it can filter out viruses that are 0.3 microns in size. A person wearing an N95 mask reduces the exposure to some of the smallest particles present in the air. This makes the N95 the most effective among all the other types of face masks.
FFP or Face Filtering Piece Masks
The FFP is a type of mask that has been widely demanded since the COVID-19 outbreak. This is because it is not as costly as the N95 but is more effective than the surgical (usually 3-ply) masks. There are mostly 3 types of FFPs namely FFP1, FFP2, and FFP3. What it means is that they can filter out 80, 94 and 99.95 particles respectively. Among the 3, FFP3 is said to the best to protect yourself against COVID-19.
Surgical masks the most common
Surgical masks are the most common types of face masks. They are also most affordable as they are usually sold in boxes of 50s or 100s. For the COVID-19 pandemic, it is advised that you wear the 3-ply type which would be good enough. While it might not be the best mask to prevent COVID-19, it stops any droplets from spreading into the air. Surgical masks are best to stop you from inhaling any large particles in the air.
Which one should you choose?
The best face mask would surely be the N95 as they have been tested and proven. However, due to the issue of cost, it might not be available for everyone. Hence, having a FFP1 mask would be most cost-effective. Take note that the face mask is not your only prevention against the COVID-19. You need to follow other hygienic practices like washing your hands regularly and avoid touching your face during the pandemic.