Choosing a medical mask means understanding its use
The mask is an essential element of personal protection for all personnel in contact with patients, even beyond the particular constraints that we encounter in these times of COVID 19 pandemics. Indeed, the first protective measure against COVID 19 – well before hand washing – is the mask, since it is the best barrier to pathogens transmitted by droplets emitted via the mouth and nose of virus carriers.
In the professional life of laboratory workers in particular, it provides a barrier to potentially contaminated biological fluids (Type IIR qualification)
How to choose a medical mask: choose a mask that complies with standards and even more if you really want to protect yourself effectively
Standard 14683 AC 2019 defines the expected performance of masks for medical use. It is organized around several axes which, together, will guarantee the quality of the mask and the safety of the wearer and his environment:
– Efficiency of bacterial filtration (EFB)
– Breathability (Delta P)
– Resistance to splashes of biological fluids (Type IIR only)
– Microbial cleanliness (Bioburden)
With the profusion of masks coming from far, sometimes very far away, and whose logistic circuits are sometimes quite obscure, a few – very few – manufacturers, and one French manufacturer in particular, wished to go further in the quality approach of the medical mask equipment offered, for a guaranteed protection against the environment (filtration efficiency of viruses (EFV) and filtration efficiency of particles of 0.1 µm (EFP)), but also against the mask itself (no harmful particle due to the manufacturing of the mask itself)
Choosing a medical mask means also taking an interest in how it is made.
If you don’t want to cover your nose and mouth with a mask that already carries many particles and will only filter out some of the pathogens, avoid masks that come from far away and are not very controlled. Give preference to masks manufactured in a controlled atmosphere.
Choose the straps that suit your needs
The ear elastic system is of course very practical to put on and take off the mask. However, it does not fail to irritate the back of the ears and to heat up the auricle of sensitive ears. In short, there is a more comfortable solution, the favorite of operating rooms: the strap system. Finally, the transverse elastic system combines these two systems: elastic bands and an attachment point behind the neck rather than behind the ears for a perfect compromise!
Choosing your protection: the ideal medical mask in 7 key points
Make sure that the top and bottom of the mask have a hem, this is what makes the mask comfortable and strong.
Make sure that the mask has an integrated nose bridge so that it can be adapted to the various morphologies of your employees’ faces.
Prefer a mask that exceeds the EN 14683 standards for maximum breathability. This is essential when you have to wear a mask all day.
Choose a mask with a complete design, especially the comfort folds, so that the mask adapts completely to the body. This promotes breathability, comfort and protection. The omega folding is recommended.
Opt for a mask with unquestionable bacterial and viral filtration efficiency and demand quantified guarantees in this regard. There is nothing worse than being poorly protected while thinking you are.
Favour soft materials. A mask is in permanent contact with the epidermis, which it weakens. Excessive friction and aggressive fibers are important. Furthermore, choose masks with latex-free elastics. Who wants to have a reddened face or allergic ears because of a mask they have to wear during working hours?
And of course, think about people who wear glasses!
Think of the wearers of glasses by choosing an anti-fogging mask, a foam strip on the top and bottom of the mask brings comfort and prevents fogging.
Some masks offer an anti-glare option. They are particularly useful in very bright environments and prevent the mask from being reflected in the glasses.
To simplify your choice there is a last recommendation:
Choose LABELIANS offer: we have indeed selected Kolmi as our preferred partner for medical masks.
They are the one and only French manufacturer who fully complies with our demand !