Since the novel coronavirus is becoming more frightening, people are being concerned about their health and taking all the necessary precautions to ensure safety. Wearing a mask seems quite practical in such scenarios as it is considered an effective gear to prevent viral and bacterial contamination. However, with plenty of face masks available in the market, it can be daunting for an individual to select the right one.
When you narrow down the best options, you will likely come across popular masks like Powecom KN95 and 3M 8210 particulate respirator. Before picking any one of these, it is extremely important to know about its level of protection, features, and specifications to mitigate cross-contamination risks as much as possible.
With a quite similar kind of respirators, it might be perplexing to understand the difference between the two. But are they completely the same? Do they provide an equal level of protection? Don’t worry, this comprehensive guide will help you obtain a clear knowledge and make a suitable selection.
Let’s get started!
The Importance of Wearing a Face Mask
Perhaps one of the most drastic changes in our lifestyle resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak is the mandatory usage of face masks. Wearing a face mask is essential, especially when you’re out in public or in close proximity to others to reduce the spread of infection. People who don’t even have any symptoms are also advised to wear a mask to prevent the droplets released into the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes, and talks.
One of the major benefits of face masks is that it protects you and people around you against contamination risk factors, especially if you have been exposed to crowded places like grocery stores, pharmacies, and restaurants. Therefore, it is crucial to wear a mask, whenever out in public, combined with preventive measures like social distancing and frequent hand washing to create a safer environment throughout the nation.
What is the Difference Between KN95 and 3M 8210 N95 Masks?
It is safe to say that both KN95 and 3M 8210 N95 respirators are equipped with a filtration efficiency of up to 95% and this is why they are commonly used in several risky environments. While both are designed to capture large and small airborne particles (approx. 0.3 microns), they do have some dissimilarities. Here are the following details:
- KN95 masks are Chinese standard-based GB 2626-2006 masks while 3M 8210 N95 are USA standard-based NIOSH-42CFR84 masks.
- KN95 masks are required to run fit tests on humans while 3M 8210 gear has no such need.
- 3M N95 masks have a strict pressure drop standard for breathability aspect than KN95.
The Difference in Functional and Specification
3M particulate respirator 8210, N95 provide reliable respiratory protection against certain non-oil based particles, making it an ideal option for particles such as those from sanding, grinding, bagging, sweeping, or other dusty operations. It combines 3M’s proprietary technology with advanced electrostatically charged microfiber filter media that ensures easy breathing.
Basically, both of them are designed to capture up to 95% of airborne particles, bio-aerosols, PM2.5 particulates, and other contaminants. You can witness a slight difference in their design and standard, however, both are best suited for people working in oil plants, construction sites, laboratories, industrial applications, and workplaces.
Pros of KN95 Masks
- It is designed to filter out 95% of particles in the air as small as 0.3 microns.
- The activated carbon layer absorbs chemical pollution and a thick layer block small particles.
- It is tested for appropriate fit to achieve minimal leakage.
- It snugly fits around the nose and mouth, without leaving any gaps.
- It is comfortable, lightweight in design that gives ease of breathing.
Pros of 3M 8210 Particulate Protection Respirator
- It is designed to provide comfortable respiratory protection against certain non-oil based particles.
- The N95 particulate respirator help promote breathability and increase the wear time for better compliance.
- It has patented filter material, 3MTM advanced electrostatic media, and can trap dust and other harmful agents.
- It usually comes with a two-strap design with dual point attachment for a secure seal.
- The lightweight design makes it more comfortable.
How to Ensure Quality of Face Masks and Purchase the Best Option?
It is clear by now that face masks play a significant role in preventing hazardous exposures like dust, smoke, droplets, splashes, splatters, and others. But you still need to pay attention to the fit, fabric, and breathability to attain the optimum level of protection against contagion. So be sure to select the mask that is tested and approved by independent analysis to meet the minimum 95% particulate filtration standard.
How to Use Face Masks Properly?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US recommends people to wear a mask in public settings, especially where physical distance is hard to maintain. No matter which kind of mask you purchase, it is vital to wear it properly to achieve protection against contaminants.
Since the virus is spreading all over the world, complete knowledge of proper masking technique is necessary. Remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Also, be sure the mask fits comfortably over the nose and mouth.
To avoid making common mistakes, keep in mind these five don’ts:
- Don’t touch your masks’ outer mask while it is being worn.
- Don’t wear the mask under your chin with the mouth or nose exposed.
- Don’t remove the mask when out in public.
- Don’t leave your mouth and nose uncovered.
- Don’t share your mask with any family member of others.
You might find people wearing masks in various styles like pulled down below the nose, dangling from one ear, or resting under the chin. These potential mistakes may increase the risk of getting infected so make sure to spread awareness and wear masks properly to slow the spread of the virus.
No matter whether you choose KN95 and 3M 8210 N95 masks, evaluate each one of them on ease of use, comfort, and quality of construction to make the best selection. When masks are combined with safety measures such as physical distancing and hand hygiene, it can really help to flatten the curve of health hazards.