New Coronavirus Pneumonia is mainly transmitted through droplets. Masks can block droplets from entering the nose and mouth, reducing the chance of virus infection. Therefore, masks have become a scarce commodity during the epidemic, and wearing masks has become a common practice. Currently, the most popular ones are ordinary disposable medical masks and N95 and kn95 face masks. So what are the differences between N95 and kn95 face masks?
The letters represent different national standards. The N series of masks is the American standard, the kn series is the Chinese standard, the FFP series is the European standard, and the KF series is the Korean standard. The numbers at the end indicate the degree of protection, with higher numbers indicating higher protection levels. 95 means that it can filter out more than 95% of non-oily particles, while the 90 series has a lower protection level than 95, but can still resist more than 90% of particles. In the FFP series, 2 basically corresponds to 95, and 3 means a higher filtering efficiency of up to 99%. If the number is followed by a V, it means that the mask has a breathing valve.
Kn95 is one of the levels specified in the Chinese standard GB2626-2006, and N95 is one of the levels specified in the American NIOSH standard 42 CFR 84. The technical requirements and testing methods of these two levels are basically the same, and the filtering efficiency can reach 95% under the corresponding standards. However, it should be noted that for medical staff, especially for medical protective masks that directly contact COVID-19, one of the N95 masks is needed, but not all N95 masks are medical protective masks.
For personal protection, is kn95 face mask really better? Studies have shown that ordinary surgical masks and kn95 face masks have no significant difference in clinically preventing contagious acute respiratory infections.
Many masks have breathing valves, and many people believe that masks with breathing valves are better than those without them. Is this really the case? When you exhale, the breathing valve will be blown open by the airflow, providing a dedicated channel for exhaling, making it easier to exhale, and providing a better wearing experience, especially for those who wear glasses.
Ordinary healthy people can wear masks with breathing valves to prevent inhaling droplets containing viruses. Infected people, suspected infected people, and close contacts during the incubation period should not use masks with breathing valves, otherwise they will become walking sources of infection. The opened breathing valve may expel droplets containing viruses from the patient. Therefore, in the front-line wards, it is better not to choose masks with breathing valves, because the one-way valve can protect oneself but not others, and medical staff inside the mask are also a high-risk group. Therefore, try not to use masks with breathing valves to avoid the risk of infecting others.