What are N95 / KN95 / FFP2 Face Masks?
N95, KN95 and FFP2, are face masks that protect against fine, non-toxic fibres, dust and aqueous mists. Although they are often used in construction, they can also be used by healthcare professionals as personal protective equipment (PPE). N95, KN95 and FFP2 are the same grade of mask, but have different names depending on where they are made. In theory, they all filter 95% of particles from the air. They are also referred to as respirators or dust masks.
Should you use a face mask for coronavirus?
N95 masks are currently in use to protect healthcare workers from coronavirus (COVID-19). The World Health Organisation (WHO) have endorsed N95 (KN95, FFP2) masks for those undertaking aerosol-generating procedures performed on COVID-19 patients. For most activities providing care to coronavirus patients, WHO recommend the use of a standard surgical mask, however, N95 masks provide more protection. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended to cover your face during the coronavirus pandemic.
What is the N95 face mask used for?
N95 masks are used to stop harmful substances entering the respiratory system through your mouth and nose. This can be useful in several different scenarios which include:
- In healthcare environments to provide protection from germs and infection
- On construction sites to provide protection against dust and other harmful particles
- In agriculture to provide protection from dust, harmful vapours, fumes, and mould spores
- Personal use to reduce the risk of spreading infection from yourself and to protect yourself from other people who may be infected
Although our N95 face masks are purchased from a UK-registered pharmacy wholesaler, they are not designed to be used by healthcare professionals.
How do N95 face masks work?
The shape of the mask is designed in line with the ergonomics of your face which ensures a secure fit. This allows maximum breathing capability and comfort while still providing protection from harmful substances in the air.
How effective are N95 face masks?
N95 masks filter up to 95% of airborne particles. Droplets from sneezes and coughs can travel up to 7 meters and wearing a face mask can help to prevent inhaling airborne viruses.
How do I use an N95 face mask?
N95 face masks cover half of the face, more specifically the mouth and nose area. They are fitted with two elastic headbands that either go over the head or the ears and are used to keep the mask secure and in place. There is a metal strip which covers the bridge of the nose and can be adjusted to ensure that there is a tight fit, which prevents unwanted air entering through the sides of the mask. Please contact us if you require a specific type of mask.
Are these respirator masks reusable?
N95 face masks can be reused, however, the number of times a mask can safely be reused can be reduced depending on several factors, including but not limited to the following:
- Whether the mask has been contaminated with blood, bodily fluids, or any other respiratory or nasal secretions from a patient
- Whether close contact has been made with any person that may be infected with an infectious disease requiring contact safety measures
Please note the following when choosing to reuse face masks:
- Used respirators should be hung in a designated storage area, or kept securely in a breathable container such as a paper bag between uses
- Hands should be cleaned with an alcohol-based sanitizer or soap and water before and after touching the respirator, even if you are just adjusting it
- The inside of the respirator should not be touched. If contact is unintentionally made with the inside of the mask, dispose of it safely and wash your hands with soap and water or using a hand sanitizer
- Use a clean pair of gloves when putting on the mask and ensure that it is on securely. Once the mask is on and in a comfortable position, discard the gloves.
We recommend using each mask once only.
What is the difference between N95, FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3 masks?
N95 and FFP2 masks are the same. The only difference is the name, which differs depending on what part of the world you are in (N95 is the code for USA, which equates to KN95 in Europe and FFP2 in the EU, including the UK). FFP3 refers to the mask with the most protection, followed by FFP2 and lastly FFP1.
Is an N95 mask the same as a respirator mask?
N95 masks and respirator masks are the same thing. These can often be confused with surgical masks, which offer less protection than a respiratory mask.
Which masks do you sell?
Here at Chemist Click, we sell N95/KN95/FFP2, FFP3 masks and surgical face masks. Due to a worldwide shortage of these respirators, we cannot be brand specific. We also sell N99 masks which offer extra protection, as well as surgical face masks.
What other precautionary measures can you take to reduce spreading of germs and infection?
The use of a face mask is just one precautionary measure you can take to reduce the risk of infection from pathogens. However, for maximum protection, it is recommended that you also follow other measures which include:
- Washing your hands with soap and water and an alcohol-based sanitiser frequently
- Refraining from touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth, especially with unwashed hands
- Covering your nose and mouth with the inside of your elbow or a paper towel when sneezing and coughing (ensure that you immediately dispose of the paper towel)
- Keeping all surfaces clean and disinfected
Can I use this face mask if I have a beard?
You can still use a face mask if you have a beard, however for maximum protection, it is a good idea to trim longer beards to allow for a better fit.