After the Global Outbreak of Coronavirus, most countries, including Australia, made wearing masks compulsory in public places.
In Australia, N95 Masks are classed as P2/P3 under Australian legislation.
The virus and germ-filtering capabilities of the N95 masks are often evaluated based on the mask’s ability to capture pathogens that may be spread through various routes, including direct contact. Surgical masks, often known as medical masks, cannot match N95 masks in terms of protection. While we will further detail the N95 in our article, we will also talk about the advantages of other respiratory protection devices.
N95 masks include the following unique features:
- Textiles with high filtration rates make this feasible and safe.
- N95 masks protect the wearer from potentially dangerous aerosols, gases, and vapours.
- 3-micrometre particles may be filtered out using this technology.
- Particles as small as respiratory droplets may be filtered out with 95% efficiency with this filter.
- The mouth and nasal parts of the mask are quite snugly fitted.
- The nose has a high level of imperviousness because of the thin metal there.
- The capacity to comfortably take a deep breath
What Is the N95 Mask Standard and How Does It Function?
Manufacturers of N95 masks in Australia and other respiratory protection goods in this class must follow the Australian government’s guidelines to produce the items. Structural (protective) integrity requirements exist, as do design integrity standards.
Standards for building construction rules specify what materials shall be used to fabricate N95 masks and what particle sizes should be used in their filtration. Of these standards, the most important is that the mask filters out particles as tiny as 0.3 microns.
It is possible to construct the N95 mask in two ways, depending on the application: with or without gusset. Although N95 with a valve weighs a little more than N95 without a valve, it is more comfortable to use since it makes breathing easier. The N95 Mask with no gusset is more lightweight due to the filters being enclosed inside the cloth. The N95’s ear loops and nose wire are snug and stiff, ensuring a secure fit on the user’s face.
A surgical mask or a medical mask provides superior protection
One fascinating problem that has arisen from the Covid – 19 outbreak is the question of which mask is the most efficient at defending against it. Medical masks, such as N95 respirators and surgical masks, are often compared and contrasted.
If you’re referring to medical masks, you’re most likely thinking about surgical masks. This kind of equipment aims to keep viruses and germs from spreading from the user to others. They cannot protect the user adequately since they offer less protection and have a lower particle blocking rate than respirators. According to research, when exposed to airborne or liquid-borne particle pollution, an N95 respirator mask blocks 95% of viruses and bacteria with a 0.3 millimetre or smaller size. As a result, an N95 or P2/P3 respirator provides higher protection than a surgical mask.
N95 (P2/P3) masks have a short shelf life.
Though N95 masks are often believed to be non-disposable and may be worn indefinitely, this isn’t the case. N95 masks are disposable in the same manner as other surgical masks. Non-toxic paper is used to make the filtering part of these masks. Filters that become moist, sweat, or are used for long periods of time may get physically damaged, resulting in a decline in the rate at which they filter contaminants. N95 masks should only be used once in your lifetime, according to medical professionals.
GUIDELINES LAID BY THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT ON HOW TO DISPOSE OF A N95 MASK IN A WORKPLACE
Unless they’re infected, masks may be thrown away in the trash, ideally in a closed container. Closed bins are those that have a tight-fitting lid.
Disposal of masks should take place in an enclosed container that does not need human contact to deposit an infected mask inside. A foot pedal or other hands-free device to open the bin’s lid would be ideal for convenience.
To guarantee that the garbage is properly packed, the bin for contaminated masks should include two bin liners. Using two bags reduces the risk of contamination to the person disposing of the garbage.
If the following conditions exist on a mask, it’s deemed contaminated:
an infected worker or visitor to the workplace has worn it, or a close contact of an infected person has worn it, or it is dirty or wet.
A sealed bag (e.g. a zip lock bag) should be used to dispose of contaminated masks when a closed container is not available. Double bagging is regarded to be the combination of a sealed bag plus a single bin liner.
After removing and discarding your mask, practise the necessary hand hygiene.