Respiratory Protection Masks: Knowing the difference

Respiratory protection masks

To better understand Respiratory Protection Masks we must first know what they are. Respirator is a device that can protect the person who is wearing them from inhaling harmful gases, vapors, dust and fumes. Different fields use them, and the masks range from models and uses. It is common for medical use protection masks tend to be disposable single use, however there are those that can be reusable. There are two main categories in these protection masks, first the air purifying ones that force contaminated air through a filter to purify it and the ‘air supplied’, which an alternate supply of fresh air is delivered to the respirator mask. 

With the current status of world affairs, and the Ebola Virus threat lingering, it is important to fully grasp the differences between Respiratory Protection Masks and Surgical Multi Purpose masks, is strictly reside on the protection they can provide. Surgical masks and multipurpose masks are used to protect the person wearing them from particles and airborne bacteria; they have also been proven to successfully protect the general public during flu pandemics such as the swine flu and SARS.

Respiratory Protection Masks are different as they are capable to retain particle matter when contaminated air is passed through the filter material, which in most cases can be wool, plastic, glass and cellulose. In the present events where Ebola is a real threat the CDC is recommending that the right protection masks for people that are in contact with Ebola patients are those that rated N95 by the United States of America’s NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health).  N95 means that the mask will successfully filter out at least 95% of any airborne particles.

Healthcare professionals that are appointed with the task of caring for patients with Ebola Virus are asked to wear a mask or a respirator. Initially it was reported that surgical mask would be sufficient in presence of the virus, but according to recent developments, health officials are recommending that a NIOSH N95 Respirator is used to further ensure that there will be no transmission. Members of the general public that are interested in getting Respiratory Protection Masks in the case of the presence of Ebola are encouraged to get masks that are rated n95 by the NIOSH, these masks are strong enough to protect them from mild interactions from the virus. Of course it should be pointed out that masks is not the only precaution that needs to be taken, for further information, the CDC has released these recommendations.

Related Read: 

Guidelines for prevention of Ebola Transmission in Hospitals