Most of us have heard of N95 masks. But, what are KN95 masks? Basically, they're the Chinese equivalent of N95 masks. When the demand for N95 masks became so great, countries like the United States started outsourcing to KN95 masks.
While these masks are regulated by the Chinese government to meet their standards, they are also authorized by America's Food and Drug Administration (FDA). On April 8th, 2020, the FDA authorized the emergency use of these masks when the N95 shortage became apparent.
Still, both masks perform at a higher level than most face masks out there on the market today. If you come across a KN95 mask before an N95 mask, it will serve you well. Let's put the microscope up to these reusable face masks and see what we find.
They're a Protective Barrier
KN-95 masks are known as respirator masks. That is, they're designed to capture 95% of the airborne particles that come your way. If your KN95 mask is well-fitted and fully covers both your nose and your mouth, then your risk of catching the virus is greatly reduced.
The only defense greater than this is complete social distancing (as in, staying home). Of course, that's not possible for those that still need to report to work, maintain doctor's appointments, or travel outside the home for food.
In which case, covering your nose and mouth with something that can block over 90% of the harmful particles that come your way is your safest course of action.
They're Trusted in the Medical Profession
With protection rates exceeding 90%, it's no surprise these face masks are in high demand in healthcare settings. As medical professionals treat patients infected with the virus, they can still tend to their needs with a lower risk of harm.
KN95 masks can capture particles as tiny as 0.3 microns in diameter. That's so small, it's hard to imagine. So, when someone coughs or sneezes, there's a likelihood your face mask will block the transmission.
The COVID-19 virus is smaller than 0.3 microns in diameter. But, medical professionals still believe these masks put them at a greater advantage.
If you're going to purchase a cloth mask, you must do a lot of research. The single-ply material varies from cloth to cloth and they don't hold 95% efficacy rates.
Meanwhile, KN95 masks consist of two layers of non-woven material (typically a polypropylene plastic polymer), with an activated carbon filter layer in between. So, you have two outer layers that have been tested to filter particles measuring 0.5 microns in diameter.
In between those layers, there are two more elements. First, there's an activated carbon filter layer that can absorb harmful particles. Then, there's a thick cotton layer that can filter out particles as small as 0.3 microns in diameter.
With its three layers of protection and efficacy rate of up to 95%, this is the way to keep your friends and family safe. As of this moment, you won't find a better mask out there on the market. This makes KN95 masks superior to fabric masks, disposable masks, and even 3PLY masks.
Given how well they're constructed, people want to hang onto these masks for as long as possible.
Still, it's important to note that it's not recommended to wear KN95s beyond one week because they lose their efficacy as they go. Remember, they're doing a lot of work in each of those layers to filter out minuscule particles.
Even healthcare workers can get about a week's use out of each mask when properly worn and cared for. It's important not to use soap, water, or alcohol to clean these masks.
To extend their life span, N95s and KN95s can be steamed or boiled for five minutes and then air-dried. This will allow the mask to maintain most of its filtering efficiency and keep you protected.
They're As Effective as N95s
Initially, people were hesitant to wear KN95s over N95s because KN95s are regulated by the Chinese government while N95s are regulated by the American government.
But, the KN95 face mask is practically equivalent to the N95. And, don't forget, many of the N95s themselves are made in China. Likewise, both the FDA and the CDC have authorized the use of KN95 masks as suitable alternatives to N95 masks.
While it must be stated that N95s are reported to allow for extended lengths of breathing time, KN95s are still manufactured to allow for 30-minute breathing windows that provide enough time for doctors to complete consultations or family members to make a grocery run.
The Best Mask for You
When you consider the medical profession trusts these masks, it's a safe bet that you're onto something good. Of course, we need to exercise proper use and care. But, if well-maintained, you can secure several uses out of this protective barrier.
Here at Brookwood Med, we sell nothing but the best masks - guaranteed. Before we offered any of our products, we searched the globe for factories that prided themselves in the use of high-quality materials.
Our inventory includes KN95 masks, N95 masks, 3PLY masks, cloth masks, and disposable masks. Beyond that, we also offer contactless thermometers. If safety is your main concern in these trying times, then allow us to take some of the burden off your shoulders.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us today. And, when you signup for our newsletter, we'll be happy to extend a 10% discount on your first order.