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When will mask, sanitizer manufacturers catch up?

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 21st, 2020 3:09 pm
Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
14547 posts
7444 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
ConsoleWatcher wrote: N95 masks only filter out 95% of harmful air particles. If you breath enough affected air, you can still catch it.
That's why healthcare workers who work with COVID-infected people are getting it themselves at a high rate, whereas period who had incidental contact with someone who had it (such as passing them in a grocery store) do not.
That's not right.

N95 mask will at worse filter out 95% of the particles in the air (whether they are harmful or not) that are 0.3 microns in size. While the virus itself is approx 0.125 microns , the virus doesn't float around by itself - the virus needs to be attached to some other particle - ie water droplet, mucus, protein particles - which are generally larger than the 0.3 microns in size. Therefore, the N95 mask works by filtering the particle the virus is typically attached to but not the virus itself.

Here's a great fact checked article on N95 mask and why they work in this case - Fact check: No, N95 filters are not too large to stop COVID-19 particles

As for the reason why health care workers still catch it, no real study has been done that I'm aware of but most like due to failures in product or procedures - ie a defective N95 mask or that the mask wasn't put on correctly so that it has a perfect seal around the nose and mouth, cross contamination of PPE, disinfectant processes were ineffective or not followed - and in an infectious environment like a COVID ward, the virus concentration in the air (or load) is many times higher than in other situations so it's possible that the virus may have entered the body through the eyes even with a face shield since it's not sealed around the eyes.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2002
6333 posts
989 upvotes
How To Know If Your Mask Is The Real 3-Ply Surgical Mask?

Surgical mask tests

I would guess that 90%+ of the masks currently being sold to the public do not meet any standards (100% of home made ones). The most important part of a 3 part surgical mask is the inner layer of a special melt blown plastic. This not only simply catches viruses trying to pass through its small hole sizes but this material develops a small static charge which attracts virus droplets and other particles and binds them to the material. So even if the hole size in the masks is large enough to allow COVID particles to pass through the electrostatic charge on that inner layer can catch them. That is something which seems to be forgotten by people simply comparing virus size and mask hole sizes.

These are the US standards for surgical masks.

ASTM surgical mask standards

I would never buy anything which at a minimum does not meet the ASTM F2101 level1 standard (and level 2 is preferable). There are also similar European and other standards. N95 masks are probably better but they fit tightly on the face and are not very comfortable.
Deal Expert
May 30, 2005
44377 posts
4966 upvotes
Richmond Hill
craftsman wrote: Depending on the type of mask...

Anything that doesn't actually filter out the virus (ie non-N95 mask by the latest research) will help prevent you from spreading the virus as it lowers the distance the virus can shoot out of your mouth when breathing/talking/coughing/singing.... but since a non-N95 mask won't filter out the virus, you can still catch the virus even if you are wearing one if you are close enough to someone infected; hence, social distancing trumps mask. The N95 certified mask is supposed to filter out the virus and actually gets more effective as the mask is used as particles get embedded into the mask material adding to the density of the mask. Unfortunately, the material added to the N95 mask, the harder it is to breathe through.
I don't understand why it's always a discussion of "which one is better". The better option is to do both, or all of the above. We spent 3 months in North America debating which one is better, whereas everywhere else in the world, they do both, and have had much lower rates of spread than in North America.
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Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
14547 posts
7444 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
Jon Lai wrote: I don't understand why it's always a discussion of "which one is better". The better option is to do both, or all of the above. We spent 3 months in North America debating which one is better, whereas everywhere else in the world, they do both, and have had much lower rates of spread than in North America.
Because it's pointless to do mask if you have more than enough social distancing all of the time. The only thing that a mask will add when proper adherence to social distancing is done is more garbage in the landfills and litter on the streets if a disposable mask is used.

Plastic waste from personal protective equipment — the other coronavirus ‘plague’
Deal Expert
May 30, 2005
44377 posts
4966 upvotes
Richmond Hill
craftsman wrote: Because it's pointless to do mask if you have more than enough social distancing all of the time. The only thing that a mask will add when proper adherence to social distancing is done is more garbage in the landfills and litter on the streets if a disposable mask is used.

Plastic waste from personal protective equipment — the other coronavirus ‘plague’
But that's the problem, it's hard to guarantee. Even when I'm hiking (where I typically don't mask up because, that's the whole reason I'm hiking), there are inconsiderate people who don't walk single file. In the end, if you can't be 100% distancing, you should wear a mask.
Artisan woodworker crafting live edge tables, end grain cutting boards, and other home decor
Silver Coins | Philips Wake-Up Light with Radio | Heatware
Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
14547 posts
7444 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
Jon Lai wrote: But that's the problem, it's hard to guarantee. Even when I'm hiking (where I typically don't mask up because, that's the whole reason I'm hiking), there are inconsiderate people who don't walk single file. In the end, if you can't be 100% distancing, you should wear a mask.
According to the most recent information I know, the chances of outdoor spread drops dramatically compared to any indoor environment even with social distancing at both areas. In fact, it could be argued that the distance needed to social distance outdoors is less than indoors. A great example is the last round of protest in the US where most of that happened outdoors with little social distances in most cases and very few in terms of mask - according to US public health officials, no spike in cases can be contributed to those protest (heck, even FOX news isn't running stories about how the radical left spread the virus due to the protest anymore).
Deal Expert
May 30, 2005
44377 posts
4966 upvotes
Richmond Hill
craftsman wrote: According to the most recent information I know, the chances of outdoor spread drops dramatically compared to any indoor environment even with social distancing at both areas. In fact, it could be argued that the distance needed to social distance outdoors is less than indoors. A great example is the last round of protest in the US where most of that happened outdoors with little social distances in most cases and very few in terms of mask - according to US public health officials, no spike in cases can be contributed to those protest (heck, even FOX news isn't running stories about how the radical left spread the virus due to the protest anymore).
I don't know about you, but I want my percentage to be as low as possible, and there's no reasonable excuse for others not to be walking single file when you're crossing another group hiking opposite direction of you.
Artisan woodworker crafting live edge tables, end grain cutting boards, and other home decor
Silver Coins | Philips Wake-Up Light with Radio | Heatware
Sr. Member
Nov 2, 2015
966 posts
400 upvotes
Markham
If I am taking flight

is level 3 mask good enough for me or I better wear N95 (Hard to breath?)
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 19, 2002
3370 posts
2041 upvotes
Vancouver
a16107 wrote: If I am taking flight

is level 3 mask good enough for me or I better wear N95 (Hard to breath?)
If it's not difficult to breathe, then it means the air isn't being filtered.
Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
14547 posts
7444 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
Jon Lai wrote: I don't know about you, but I want my percentage to be as low as possible, and there's no reasonable excuse for others not to be walking single file when you're crossing another group hiking opposite direction of you.
If you want it to be as low as possible, then the only way to do it is to avoid people and where people have been or touched as much as possible. Otherwise, commonly touched surfaces will have a greater chance of COVID infection than just walking by someone as there's about a 1 in 100 chance of even meeting a random someone with Covid in Canada - I took the current number of active cases (36K) multiplied that by a factor of 10 to count for those who haven't been tested and are positive and worked that into the population of Canada (36 million). So, unless you are walking by 100 people on a hike, there's a good chance that no-one had it. On the other side of things, any common surface may have had over 100 people touch it between the time it was last wiped down and when you touched it.
Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
14547 posts
7444 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
a16107 wrote: If I am taking flight

is level 3 mask good enough for me or I better wear N95 (Hard to breath?)
You might be better off to position the overhead air-jet so that it blows just in front of your face in order to keep any air from your neighbours coming close to your face.
Sr. Member
Aug 14, 2015
817 posts
530 upvotes
Burnaby, BC
woof wrote: How To Know If Your Mask Is The Real 3-Ply Surgical Mask?

Surgical mask tests

I would guess that 90%+ of the masks currently being sold to the public do not meet any standards (100% of home made ones). The most important part of a 3 part surgical mask is the inner layer of a special melt blown plastic. This not only simply catches viruses trying to pass through its small hole sizes but this material develops a small static charge which attracts virus droplets and other particles and binds them to the material. So even if the hole size in the masks is large enough to allow COVID particles to pass through the electrostatic charge on that inner layer can catch them. That is something which seems to be forgotten by people simply comparing virus size and mask hole sizes.

These are the US standards for surgical masks.

ASTM surgical mask standards

I would never buy anything which at a minimum does not meet the ASTM F2101 level1 standard (and level 2 is preferable). There are also similar European and other standards. N95 masks are probably better but they fit tightly on the face and are not very comfortable.
Agreed.
During March/April/May fine, melt-blown anything will suffice.
July, only ASTM level 2/NIOSH approved masks should be bought for families.

If anyone want to 'reuse' anything, reuse disposable medical mask lying around days ago is better than any 'reusable' masks - unless they come up with something legit and can actually filter particles after washing.

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