Face masks types

What are the different types of masks?

There is plenty of face masks in the market, we will describe 3 main types.

Lets start with the respirators, which are professional face protection equipment. They are often called FFP2 or N95 types masks. What does it mean? It means that the protect from inhaling at least 94% (FFP2) or 95% (N95) of tiny particles sized 0.3 microns. They also prevent from exposure to tiny droplets and aerosol that may be suspended in the air. We can currently observe a severe shortage of this kind of face masks. They should be intended for health care workers and first responders. There are also other types of respirators FFP1 and FFP3 whose performance is adequately 80% and 99%. The higher the number the better filtration. 

Another type of masks is surgical masks, sometimes also called procedural masks.These are loose-fitting masks and they protect other people from the wearers respiratory exhales and the user from inhaling larger droplets created while sneezing or coughing. These masks shall be also reserved for hospital, clinics, medical workers and caregivers. 

Cloth masks, also called barrier masks may help slow down the spread of the new coronavirus. They also help people who may have the virus but no show symptoms from transmitting it to others. Fabric face masks are not medical-grade but they are helpful in non-patient care settings to block particles from coughs and sneezes and to restrain people from touching their face.