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Mask Type: How can We Identify Shape, Use, and Standard of Face Mask?
2. Mask Type: How can We Identify Shape, Use, and Standard of Face Mask?
This post is a consolidated description of the mask type. It focuses on the mask shape, the mask use, and the mask standard. Whether you are a member of the general population who wears masks, or you are a professional involved in mask production or mask testing, there is some valuable information to be found here.
Mask Type 1: Face Mask Shape and Wearing Style
Face mask shape
|flat mask||economical and easy to carry|
|folding mask||easy to carry, large breathing space|
|cup mask||comfortable, large breathing space|
Wearing style of face mask
|earloop mask||easy to wear, suitable for taking off at any time|
|headloop mask||comfortable to wear, suitable for long time wear|
Mask Type 2: Face Mask Use
According to the use of face masks, it can be divided into 4 mask types: general face mask, disposable medical mask, medical protective mask, and labor protection mask.
General mask type mainly refers to masks made of yarn/cotton and polyurethane fibers, and the homemade DIY masks that you see in various styles online belong to this category, which does not have the ability to protect against particles and viruses, and are mainly used for cold and warmth, protection of privacy, etc.
Disposable medical mask type, a type of hospital mask, is mainly used for daily hospital work or surgical suites, and needs to be distinguished as the standards for masks are not exactly the same in each country. Among them, medical surgical masks can block blood and body fluids from contaminating the wearer through the mask, while having a filtration efficiency of more than 95% for bacteria, playing a professional role in preventing cross-infection.
Medical protective mask type, also a hospital mask, are suitable for medical personnel and related staff for protection against airborne respiratory infections. The medical protective mask has a high level of protection and is particularly suitable for use during medical activities when in contact with patients with airborne or close droplet-borne respiratory infections. The medical protective mask can filter airborne particles, block droplets, blood, body fluids, secretion micro-droplets, etc. The medical protective mask can effectively filter bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens.
Labor protection mask type, which is usually represented by 3M brand and is functionally divided into two categories: anti-particulate matter mask type and anti-virus mask type. The American masks have N90, N95, and N99 types, the European masks have FFP1, FFP2, and FFP3 types, and the Chinese masks have KN90, KN95, and KN99 types. N90 and below can only be used for daily dust and particulate protection, while N95 and above can be used for virus protection and industrial dust and particulate protection.
Mask Type 3: Mask Standard
1 U.S. standards for face masks: NIOSH Standards (Title 42 CFR Part 84) and ASTM F2100
There are two types of mask standards in the United States: labor protection mask type and medical protection mask type. The following is an overview of the standards.
Levels and requirements of NIOSH Standard mask type
|Filter element||NaCl Particle Testing||Oil Particle Testing|
Classes and requirements of ASTM F2100 mask type
|Performance indicators||Protection level 1||Protection level 2||Protection level 3|
|Differential pressure mmH2O/cm²||＜5.0||＜6.0||＜6.0|
|Filtration efficiency for 0.1um particles 1%||≥95||≥98||≥98|
|Synthetic blood penetration,minimum pressure mmHg||80||120||160|
|flame resistance||Class 1||Class 1||Class 1|
Note: The test flow rate of the standard NIOSH Standards (Title 42 CFR Part 84) is 85L/min. The index requirement of respiratory resistance is that the inhalation resistance should not exceed 350pa and exhalation resistance should not exceed 250pa.
2 EU standards for face mask type: EN 149: 2001+A1-2009 and EN 14683: 2019
EN149:2001+A1 with three levels: FFP1, FFP2, and FFP3 corresponding to filter efficiencies of 80%, 94%, and 99%.
Class level requirements for mask type according to EN149.
|Grade||NaCl Particle Testing||Oil Particle Testing|
|Penetration %||Efficiency %||Penetration %||Efficiency %|
Note: The test flow rate for this standard is 95L/min. FFP is Filtering Face Piece, which meets the European standard EN149 but does not necessarily mean FFP2 level, it may be FFP1 level.
Classes and Requirements for mask type according to EN 14683
|Classify||Type Ⅰα||Type Ⅱ||Type ⅡR|
|Differential pressure Pa/cm²||＜40||＜40||＜40|
|Splash resistance kPa||No requirement||No requirement||≥16.0|
|Microbial cleanliness cfu/g||≤30||≤30||≤30|
Note: TYPE I medical masks should only be used on patients and others to reduce the risk of transmission of infectious diseases, especially in epidemiological situations. TYPE I masks are not intended for use by medical personnel in operating theatres or other medical environments with similar requirements.
3 Chinese standards for face mask type: GB 2626 and GB 19083
According to China’s standards for mask type, it can be divided into three categories: medical mask type and protective mask type.
Filter efficiency levels and requirements for face mask type in GB 2626
|Filter element||NaCl Particle Testing||Oil Particle Testing|
Note: The test flow rate of this standard is 85L/min. The index requirement for respiratory resistance is that inhalation resistance does not exceed 350Pa and exhalation resistance does not exceed 250Pa.
GB19083-2010 filter efficiency levels and requirements for face mask
|Grade||Filtration efficiency (%)|
Note: The test flow rate for this standard is (85±2)L/min and the inspiratory resistance of the mask does not exceed 343.2Pa (35mmH20). Synthetic blood penetration requirements: spray 2mL of synthetic blood into the mask at 10.7KPa (80mmHg), there should be no penetration on the inside of the mask.
4 Japanese and Korean standards for face mask type
Japan DS2 mask type
Japanese mask standard “DS2” is a national standard of the Japanese Ministry of Labor, which is equivalent to the Chinese standard “KN95” and the American standard “N95”. Printed on the package: ウィルスカット99% (virus blocking 99%), which refers to the efficiency of the filter exceeds the domestic standard of 99%. Medical masks.
Korea KF mask type
Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (the mainstream Korean standard for masks issued by Korea’s Food and Drug Administration). KF mask type are divided into KF 80, KF 94, KF 99.
|Series||filtration efficiency||leakage rate||resistance|
What are the N, FFP, KN, and KF on the top of the mask? What do the next numbers represent?
- N stands for the labeling symbol of NIOSH certified masks of the American standard
- FFP indicates the labeling symbol of European standard EN certified masks
- KN indicates the labeling symbol of Chinese standard GB certified masks
- KF indicates the labeling symbol of Korean standard KF certified masks
The number next, such as N95, FFP3, KF94, indicates the filtration level of the mask, and the specific filtration effect represented by the above mask standard description.
Finally, a brief summary in one paragraph is as follows, FFP3>FFP2=N95=KN95>KN90. Generally, it is used to resist Viruses and flu, the N95 series is adequate, and the 90 series is also 90% resistant.
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