Hygiene and face masks - what types are there?
The most important points in brief
- Hygiene and protective masks have long been an issue in many professions.
- We spread droplets in the air by coughing and sneezing, but also by speaking and breathing.
- These droplets can contain germs and viruses that other people breathe.
- It was only through the Corona crisis that the masks became an issue for the public.
- There is always talk of the different types. What types are there and what distinguishes them?
They are human excretions that we cannot avoid. When we cough or sneeze, speak or breathe, we throw large numbers of droplets into the air. These are really not particularly large, on average between half a and eleven micrometers (a micrometer is a thousandth of a millimeter, i.e. a millionth of a meter). And yet the droplets are big enough to be dangerous to other people; they can contain pathogens of all kinds. And by no means just the corona virus SARS-CoV-2.
Face masks help to reduce the transmission rate
Hygiene masks and face masks have been an effective means of minimizing the risk of infection in many professions for many decades. Especially in the care and health sector, the risk of a life-threatening transmission of pathogens is too great. We now know exactly how masks of type I and type II work:
- The type I masks are primarily used to contain pandemics, because the mouth and nose cover already significantly reduces the risk of the infection spreading. This product also has a test for bacterial filtering - this must be at least 95 percent for Type I masks. This means that 95 percent of all pathogens are filtered out through the mask.
- Type II masks are principally intended for employees in the medical field, for example in an operating room and other areas that have very high hygienic requirements. Type II bacteria filtering must be at least 98 percent.
Anyone who works in a hospital or in nursing and has contact with people who are infected with SARS-CoV-2, both covers are in principle sufficient. They protect the immediate environment of the mask wearer from droplets that are in the air they breathe. But there is also adequate protection for the wearer himself.
Type IIR masks
The most common people seen in public are wearing a Type IIR mask. This is the light blue MNS that is only intended for single use. It is true that this protective mask also significantly reduces the risk of germs being transmitted from the user's mouth; there is also a certain degree of self-protection.
However, type IIR moistens quite quickly through breathing alone, so that it has to be replaced and disposed of after about two hours. Disposal can be done with normal household waste. Incidentally, the bacterial filter performance of a type IIR mask is also at least 98 percent.
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