Why It Is Important To Wear A Mask?

During medical emergencies such as SARS, COVID-19, wearing a mask can help to protect the healthy individuals against the spread of such airborne infection when interacting with an infected person. Respiratory droplets can travel in the air when a person cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can enter the mouths or noses of people around you when they breathe or talk.

Masks act as a simple barrier to protect healthy people from infections and prevent the spread of infections from people who are unwell. You should wear a mask, even when you do not feel sick. Studies have shown that asymptomatic people can still spread the virus to other people.

Are you doing enough?

Staying well-protected from the assault of harmful airborne germs and pollutants take more than hand covering or hiding away. These actions below are insufficient to prevent serious contaminations.

INEFFECTIVE

Covering your nose

Harmful particles in the air could be so tiny that covering your nose and mouth may not be helpful. It could even transmit diseases from your contaminated hands to you and vice versa.

INEFFECTIVE

Using Uncertified and Untested Masks

Buying uncertified 0r untested masks may not be helpful to keep you protected, and neither is wearing a mask incorrectly.

INEFFECTIVE

Staying Indoors

Staying indoors may be helpful but not a practical option for most.

shutterstock_1315505858 (1)
INEFFECTIVE

Covering your nose

Harmful particles in the air could be so tiny that covering your nose and mouth may not be helpful. It could even transmit diseases from your contaminated hands to you and vice versa.

shutterstock_1723631980 (1)
INEFFECTIVE

Using Uncertified and Untested Masks

Buying uncertified 0r untested masks may not be helpful to keep you protected, and neither is wearing a mask incorrectly.

shutterstock_1315505825 (1)
INEFFECTIVE

Staying Indoors

Staying indoors may be helpful but not a practical option for most.

6 Steps To Wearing A Mask

STEP 1 – Select A Face Mask

For the best protection and level of comfort, it is important to find a good-quality certified face mask.

STEP 2 – Open The Face Mask

Gently open the face mask to check that there are no tears or holes on the inner and outer layers of the mask.

STEP 3 – Fold The Face Mask

To obtain a secure fit, fold the face mask firmly along each horizontal side.

STEP 4 – Place Over The Nose And Mouth

Hold both the top and bottom edges of the face mask and gently stretch the extended flaps in opposite directions to cover the nose and mouth.

STEP 5 – Hook Bands Over The Ears

Hold the face mask in place across the face, stretch the elastic bands to the back and position them behind each ear. Adjust nose metal piece to ensure good fit.

STEP 6 – Make Adjustments

Perform a fit check to ensure that there are no leakage gaps and that the face mask fits well. Make adjustments if necessary.

Important Information

Select the right mask for protection against the type and level of contaminant(s), and exposure time.
Disposable respirators require a good seal between the respirator and face and should be properly fitted to the wearer’s face.
Do not use with beards or other conditions that prevent a good seal between the face and the sealing surface of the respirator.

To obtain a good seal
Per user instructions, the respirator needs to be correctly positioned on the face and head:

  • Upper strap should be positioned on the crown of the head.
  • Lower strap should be positioned below the ears.
  • Nose clip should be completely molded to the shape of the nose using two hands.
  • Ensure the mask covers from the upper part of the nose to below the chin
  • Always conduct a user seal check.
  • Always follow the appropriate user and donning instructions for the specific model.

Frequently Asked Questions

01. What are the differences between surgical masks, N95 Respirators and surgical N95 respirators?

Surgical Mask N95 Respirator Surgical N95 Respirator
Helps to protect the wearer from
large-particles droplets of blood
or body fluids which may contain
germs (virus and bacteria).
Help to reduce exposure to very
small airborne particles or
contaminants.
Helps to protect wearer from
large droplets of blood or body
fluids and very small
particles/fine aerosolised
droplets (from cough).
US FDA cleared – 510 (k)
approval number
NIOSH approved – TC approval
number
US FDA cleared – 510 (k)
approval number
NIOSH approved – TC approval
number
Loose fittingTight fit – Form a seal around the
nose and mouth
Tight fit - Form a seal around the
nose and mouth
Bacterial filtration efficiency
(BFE) above 95%
Particulate filtration efficiency
(PFE) - minimum 95% against
particulate matter (0.3 microns
in size) free of oil
Particulate filtration efficiency
(PFE) - minimum 95% against
particulate matter (0.3 microns
in size) free of oil
Fluid resistant
(Resistant to penetration of body
fluid)
Not tested for fluid resistanceTested to be fluid resistant
For healthcare settingFor industrial use (e.g.
construction worker) where
workers are exposed to dust and
small particles
During haze seasons
For healthcare setting – To
protect both patients and health
care personnel from the transfer
of microorganisms, body fluids
and particulate matter.
* FDA – Food and Drug Administration
* NIOSH – National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

02. What are the applicable standards used to ensure good manufacturing quality of masks and respirators?

ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System
ISO 13485 Medical devices – Quality Management System

ASTM F2100-19 – Test mask material on bacterial filtration efficiency, differential pressure, particulate
filtration efficiency, resistance to penetration by synthetic blood and flammability. Assign a numerical rating
for the barrier performance of the material:
Level 1 – for low risk of fluid exposure
Level 2 – for moderate risk of fluid exposure (Pasture 3-ply earloop surgical mask)
Level 3 – for high risk of fluid exposure

03. What are these common terms and definitions?

Measure how efficient the mask is able to filtrate against bacteria
Presented in percentage of bacteria larget than 3 microns filtered out by
the mask
Minimum requirement = 95%

Measure how efficient the mask is able to filtrate against small particles
Presented in percentage of particles larger than 1 micro filtered out by the
mask
Minimum requirement = 95%

Evaluate the resistance of the mask to penetration by a small volume of
synthetic blood at high velocity (80mmHg, 120mmHg).
Pass/fail based on visual evidence of synthetic blood penetration
Minimum requirement = 80 mmHg (N95 and 3-ply masks)
Can go up to 120mmHg for 3-ply surgical mask
Higher value → better resistance

Measure how air is easily passed from one side of the mask to the other.
Indicate how easily the wearer can breathe through the mask.
Higher value → more difficult to push the air through (Higher breathing
resistance) → Lower breathability (less comfortable), but better air
filtration

Determine the time of flame spread for the mask material
Minimum requirement = Class 1 flammability (exhibit normal
flammability)