Respiratory mask: How to choose the best one in 2021?
Today we are going to talk about a protective accessory used by the most diverse types of professionals and that can be very useful in times when viruses spread throughout the world. We are dealing here with the respiratory mask.
There are several types of breathing masks and each has a different protection objective. Next, you’ll find out who should wear such a mask and how to choose and buy the ideal one.
First, the most important
- The respiratory mask may be a mandatory item depending on your profession.
- In addition, the mask may also be necessary to prevent you from contracting or transmitting disease.
- To buy the best respiratory mask you must take into account some factors, such as the purpose, the FPP and the presence or not of a valve.
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Best breathing masks: Our recommendations
- For those with sensitive skin
- Comfortable mask with high breathability
- Kit with modern and comfortable design
It is very common to see healthcare professionals and patients in hospitals wearing a respiratory mask. But the use of this protective accessory goes far beyond the medical field. In this Buying Guide we will answer your questions about this type of mask.
What is a respiratory mask and what is it for?
The respiratory mask is considered an individual protection equipment (PPE) that is indispensable, and often mandatory, in several fields of professional activity: From the health area, construction to that of the chemical industry.
The use of a respiratory mask prevents particles that are harmful to the human body, such as smoke, dust, viruses and gases, from being absorbed and causing allergic, respiratory reactions and even more serious contamination.
After all, the airways are the great gateway to small substances that can be harmful to health.
Nowadays, there are several models of respiratory masks, among them the simple disposable ones and the most efficient ones that have an oxygenation system.
To choose the best one you need to consider the condition of the environment, the respiratory risks and your health condition as well.
But in addition, it is also necessary to choose a breathing mask that fits well to the face, otherwise it will not protect properly and allow contamination.
What are the types of breathing masks?
The respiratory mask has the function of protecting the user’s face and / or mouth and, therefore, there are several models that vary in terms of shape, material of manufacture and efficiency.
Three most common types of respiratory protection masks can be cited, according to the type of protection it provides. Check the table below:
In addition to the difference in shape and material of manufacture, these masks can also have elements that help to reduce or eliminate the absorption of harmful elements contained in the air.
Therefore, masks can have a classification that determines the shape and diameter of the particle that will be retained by them, being of the type PFF1, PFF2 and PFF3. We will talk about this in detail in Purchasing Criteria .
Respiratory mask x respirator: What is the difference?
The main difference between the respiratory mask and the respirator is that the mask does not have a filter attached, only the place for a filter to be placed. The respirator, on the other hand, already has a filter.
For example, the surgical-style mask prevents splashes of body fluids from reaching other people or even food.
The respirator is a device that protects the user against the inhalation of toxic substances.
When is the use of a respiratory protection mask necessary?
In times of increased virus contamination, many people are seen buying and using breathing masks.
Although there is no harm in protecting yourself, masks are only essential if you have any respiratory symptoms or work in a sector that requires the use of the mask as a work safety item.
That is, if you do not have any symptoms or need the mask to work, there is no need to buy one.
Prevention tip! To reduce the risk of contracting or transmitting flu and respiratory infections, including H1N1 and coronavirus, you should:
- Avoid contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections;
- Wash your hands frequently or use alcohol gel;
- Use disposable tissue for nasal hygiene;
- Cover your nose and mouth with your arm when you sneeze or cough;
- Do not share personal items like cutlery, glasses and plates;
- Keep the environments ventilated.
As we have seen, many professions require the mandatory use of a respiratory protective mask. And the fact is that it is the company’s duty to make the item available to employees.
To give you a broader sense of this, check out the main professions that require the use of a respiratory mask below:
- Firefighters : The protective mask is essential because of the smoke and chemical elements released during fires;
- Bakers and Cooks : Contact with flour can cause respiratory allergy, hence the need to wear a respiratory mask;
- Miners : Dust and coal dust can trigger serious respiratory diseases;
- Health professionals and patients : The use of a respiratory mask serves to prevent contamination and even prevent a type of asthma caused by latex, the material used in making gloves;
- Truckers : Those who are in direct contact with diesel are more likely to develop Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Therefore, the use of the mask is also essential.
How much does it cost and where to buy the respiratory mask?
The price of the respiratory mask will vary greatly depending on the type, model and indication of use. But in general, you will find this type of mask costing between R $ 6 and R $ 100.
To buy the respiratory mask you can opt for pharmacies, stores of hospital products and work safety, in addition to department stores, and even hypermarkets such as Extra.
However, if you want more options of brands and models of respiratory mask to choose from, the ideal is to buy online at stores like Amazon. Not to mention that, in this way, you still buy the mask without leaving home.
Purchase Criteria: How to choose the respiratory mask
To choose and buy the best breathing mask, which is, in fact, efficient, you need to know how to differentiate one model from another.
To help you in this process, we have listed below the main aspects that you must take into account when buying your respiratory protection mask. Check out:
- Purpose and format
- Disposable or reusable
- With or without valve
From here, you can see how to analyze each of these criteria and buy the best respiratory mask.
Purpose and format
The first factor that you should consider when purchasing the respiratory mask is in relation to the purpose of use, which is also related to the shape of the protective accessory.
In this regard, there are traditional masks, which cover only the mouth and nose. In addition to this type, there is also the semi-facial and facial model.
The simple respiratory mask is the most used in hospitals and dentists’ offices. It is also more recommended in cases of viruses and flu.
However, the traditional type breathing mask will only be effective if it fits well on your face. Otherwise, the semi-facial mask may be the most efficient.
In general, the semi-facial has a filter, which is responsible for preventing gases from passing through the mask.
The face breathing mask protects the entire face. This type of protective mask is only suitable for environments with a high level of contaminants, such as in the case of fires and radiation.
As we have seen, breathing masks can have a classification that shows the efficiency of the mask to retain certain sizes of particles that are in the air. This classification is determined as follows: PFF1, PFF2, PFF3.
This makes it possible to know the degree of efficiency of a given breathing mask to combat certain types of particles that may be present in the atmosphere.
In general, masks with this classification are disposable ones. The acronym PFF stands for Facial Filter Parts. But for you to understand the meaning of each classification, check out the characteristics of each:
Disposable or reusable
Also take into account that you will find disposable and reusable breathing masks. The choice, again, will depend on your goal when using this safety equipment.
Disposable masks are the simplest and only protect the mouth and nose.
In general, disposable masks are the simplest and only protect the mouth and nose.
This type of mask is aimed at protecting the doctor and the worker, since it protects against strong odors, gases that can cause harm and even organic vapors.
The masks that allow a new use, demand greater care when storing and reusing precisely to avoid contamination.
With or without valve
Disposable respirators may or may not have an exhalation valve. The exhalation valve serves to facilitate the removal of hot air from inside the mask that comes from the exhalation.
The valve does not really influence the protection issue. However, the presence of the valve can affect the user’s comfort, especially when a respiratory mask is required in cases where users need to perform activities of great physical effort.
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