One of the most noticeable lifestyle changes is the use of face masks in public places. Once reserved for certain sectors in society like the medical profession, care workers or dentists, face masks have become mainstream.
Face masks are a simple barrier to help prevent your respiratory droplets from reaching others. Studies show that masks reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth. Your face mask offers some protection to you too.
How well a face mask will protect you depends on how the mask is made (such as the type of fabric, the number of layers of fabric, and how well the face mask fits). The CDC and other scientists are studying these factors and information is updated as new scientific evidence becomes available.
We have learned a lot in the past year about masks as a company. The information we have so far about the best face mask to wear comes from a variety of sources such as the CDC, WHO, our Provincial and Federal Health Ministers and some of the scientific briefs that are written by scientists and organizations around the world who are studying the use of face masks and their efficacy.
The best face mask according to a recent study by the CDC is a multi-layer mask which can block the release of exhaled respiratory particles into the environment, along with the microorganisms these particles carry as well as reduce the wearers’ exposure to infectious droplets through filtration of the mask they are wearing.
With so many masks now in stores and supermarkets to choose from, there are ways to help distinguish the best mask to wear. Some common labels are; Surgical Mask, Medical Mask, 3 Ply Mask, 3 Layer Mask, KN95 mask N95 Respirator. Regardless of how the mask is labelled, it is important to dig a little deeper into the brand and the manufacturer and review how the mask is constructed and how the face mask is rated.
ASTM Ratings – ASTM International sets the preferred standard in healthcare for best practices and requirements for performance and materials in masks. They follow FDA guidelines in the four main areas of Fluid, Resistance, Differential Pressure, Filter Efficiency and Flammability.
Here is a breakdown of the ASTM ratings:
- ASTM level 1 masks are the general standard for both surgical and procedural use.
- ASTM Level 2: moderate barrier protection for low-to-moderate levels of aerosols, sprays, and fluids.
- ASTM Level 3: maximum barrier protection for any situation that has the potential for exposure to heavy levels of aerosols, sprays, and fluids.
Non-Medical or Multi-layer cloth masks – have been shown to effectively block most large droplets that are 20-30 microns and larger and they can also block the exhalation of fine droplets and particles smaller than 10 microns according to a CDC report. Especially multiple layers of cloth with higher thread counts compared to single layers.
Whether you are looking for the best face mask for kids, or face masks made in Canada or just the best face mask to provide protection, Eco Sanitizer has sourced ASTM Level 3 Medical, Surgical, KN95 and N95 face masks and made them accessible for Canadians. We carry some of the best faces masks available.