How Do You Choose The Best Face Mask?

How Do You Choose The Best Face Mask?

To keep your lungs harmless from wildfire smoke or other extreme air occasions, here is what you can consider when selecting a washable face mask:

First and foremost, here is what you should avoid: Surgical face masks, cotton bandanas, or the top half of your sweater are deficient in protecting against airborne toxins. Dirt, particles of smoke, and other unhealthy materials quickly get around these poor seals.

N-95 Respirator Face Masks

Particulate respirators are generally the best call for most people who are anxious about keeping their lungs healthy through an extreme air event. It is particularly essential to get one with the proper rating.

N95 face mask or Washable Face Mask without Valve is the most common respirator available and is generally sufficient. The “95” means the face mask can filter out 95% of particles sized around 0.3 microns. Some face masks can rate N99 or even N100, which means they can filter 99% and 99.97%, respectively. Moreover, the letter part of the rating is less essential. It refers to the face mask’s ability to resist oil-based liquids that might splash on the mask-like blood or automotive fluids that might splash on the face mask in occupational settings. Like, “N” means that the face mask is Not oil resistant.

Some face masks can rate R, which means they are oil-resistant, or P, which is oil-proof. The P100 face mask is an oil-proof face mask that can filter 99.97% of particles (round up to be rated 100). The N95 face mask is the best option for most as higher numbers or more oil-resistant ratings make it more difficult to take breaths.

Avoid face masks that do not have a rating or have “NIOSH” embossed next to the rating. NIOSH acclaims a complete seal between the face mask and your face, thus trim your beard if you have one, and get an incredibly fitted face mask for any children you are responsible for it. The standard face masks do not deliver a seal around a dog’s muzzle; thus, if you have to keep your dog’s lungs safe, invest in a face mask definitely for your dog.

Some face masks have a little box with a valve in the center, known as Washable Face Mask without Valve. It is to allow exhaust breath to escape. However, it reduces the efficacy of the respirator; it also permits carbon dioxide, heat, and wetness to vent.

Gas Face Masks

Gas face masks are much more expensive and need separate filtration cartridges. A person with severe asthma or chemical sensitivities would consider using a gas mask to guarantee they are breathing the clean air their lungs need.

If you have any particular health condition, it is necessary to get a PAPR or not use a face mask at all, though you would follow instructions from the medical professional. It will ensure that if you are breathing heavily, there is not any extra strain. The California Department of Public Health claims that “wearing a face mask is harmful to some people with heart or lung disease as it can make the lungs work harder to take breaths.” And suppose you do not have any cardiopulmonary issues. In that case, you are breathing in less oxygen when using a face mask, so ensure to take it off whenever you get a gamble or if you find breathing over it difficult.

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