Recommend an Efficient Mask

GadgetObsessed

Well-known Member
The general concensus within medics is that the surgical masks aren't great. For AGPs, we use FFP3s.

I feel surgical masks being used and their effectivness should be in context of how they're used. For example, anyone using surgical mask use in China as an example for how effective it is should take into account their PPE is significantly better than ours in terms of quantitiy.
I had read that the recommendation is to use FFP3 masks. I am curious does that recommendation come from clinical testing or simply because such masks are theoretically better because they seal better and have a much higher efficacy in blocking small particles? (I am not in any way knocking the recommendation just curious how such standards come about. For example is FFP3 proven to be much better than FFP2 or is it just that it seems a wise precaution to use a more efficient particle blocking masks.) Either way I am glad that I dont have to wear such masks and all the other PPE all day - it must be very uncomfortable and draining after a long period.
 

kenshingintoki

Well-known Member
I had read that the recommendation is to use FFP3 masks. I am curious does that recommendation come from clinical testing or simply because such masks are theoretically better because they seal better and have a much higher efficacy in blocking small particles? (I am not in any way knocking the recommendation just curious how such standards come about. For example is FFP3 proven to be much better than FFP2 or is it just that it seems a wise precaution to use a more efficient particle blocking masks.) Either way I am glad that I dont have to wear such masks and all the other PPE all day - it must be very uncomfortable and draining after a long period.
A surgical mask is really designed and used for surgery, to prevent you coughing on someone during surgery and to prevent maybe splashes of blood (hence the lack of a good seal and hence the way in which you put it on which is quite.. insecure and inconsistent.

Its not specifically designed to prevent infection via aerosol generating procedures.

Surgical masks are just far more cheaper.

You are essentially right to question the reccomendation and its whats left a lot of medical professionals angry. The PPE crisis has been dressed up as just a shortage of PPE but in reality doctors and nurses have questioned and are questioning the PHE on their reccomendations which as you stated, seem to have a bit of a flimsy evidence base against using FP3 masks (apart from cost and lack of preparation).

You're a smart guy to question it because I don't know many non-medical people who have.
 
Well FFP3 indicates that it blocks more than FFP2 that is a given. From that perspective one could argue that FFP3 is “better”. But like with everything that is not the only consideration. If you look at the virus and how it moves, that was established very early on and I posted about that numerous times, then the N95/FFP2 “masks” / respirators are sufficient for this particular virus.

But there is another side to it, and that is the fitting and creating a good seal. That becomes even more important with the N99/FFP3 standard, but is also very important with the N95/FFP2. There is also an N100/P3 respirator.

There is also the KN95 but that is a Chinese standard, and not really tested against. So you could get a good one, or you could not. The tight fitting as per the N95 and above simply doesn’t seem to be there either.

Also to remember N95/FFP2 upwards get rather difficult to wear. And the higher the number the harder it gets to breathe yourself. And don’t mistake the DIY grade dust respirators with the medical grade. Yes their offer the same level of personal protection when worn correctly. But you wouldn’t see an exhale valve on a medical grade respirator.

So give anyone wearing such respirators a lot of space as they could be still infecting you.

It really shouldn’t be underestimated how hard it is to breathe in the things when they are properly fitted and sealed. So seriously if you don’t need the higher level you shouldn’t want to wear it just because higher is better ;)

Oh and stay away from those who don’t shave and wear them. An almost guarantee they won’t have a seal and can still infect you 🤔☝

Hehehe I’ve been shaving a lot whilst staying at home, as I strictly do wear FFP2 when I’m out and about.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
I'd like to ask the daily question............

Minister... You again say, the scientific evidence of wearing face masks is very inconclusive about to what if any protection wearing one give you protection against catching the disease?

Indeed, that is the current stance. We adhere to the science and thus we shall not be changing our advice to the public on the wearing of them.

Ok, so if as you say, there is little evidence of their effectiveness. Why do NHS staff wear them?

Errr, Ummm, Next question please.....
 

tickedon

Active Member
With all this talk of wearing a mask now....

it seems I either go out and get strange looks for being in the minority for not wearing a mask now.

Or I whip out the N95 mask I’ve had in a box at home for months and probably get accused of taking vital equipment away from the NHS.

i don’t really feel I can win this one....
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
With all this talk of wearing a mask now....

it seems I either go out and get strange looks for being in the minority for not wearing a mask now.

Or I whip out the N95 mask I’ve had in a box at home for months and probably get accused of taking vital equipment away from the NHS.

i don’t really feel I can win this one....
There are so many people wearing masks now, I would not imagine anyone would even give it a second thought to see you in a mask.
People are wearing all different types, and I very much doubt, hardly anyone would know what type of mask is that you are wearing.
If you have one, and are in danger of being closer to people than the recommended 2m for whatever reason I'd wear it.
Just don't use it instead or taking other precautions, but as well as all other good practices.
 

doug56hl

Distinguished Member
With all this talk of wearing a mask now....

it seems I either go out and get strange looks for being in the minority for not wearing a mask now.

Or I whip out the N95 mask I’ve had in a box at home for months and probably get accused of taking vital equipment away from the NHS.

i don’t really feel I can win this one....
Put a scarf over it....
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
Amazing what's for sale now:


I have heard it said, there is a possibility it could become a fashion item after some time.

Some great ones on that giant list of designs following that link above:

 
With all this talk of wearing a mask now....

it seems I either go out and get strange looks for being in the minority for not wearing a mask now.

Or I whip out the N95 mask I’ve had in a box at home for months and probably get accused of taking vital equipment away from the NHS.

i don’t really feel I can win this one....
Let them wear their mask, and you wear your much safer respirator. All good.


I bet yours is ventilated, if so that is not medical grade anyway. So you are all good again from the standpoint of being seen to take away masks from the NHS.
 

SteveAWOL

Distinguished Member
Amazing what's for sale now:


I have heard it said, there is a possibility it could become a fashion item after some time.

Some great ones on that giant list of designs following that link above:
I see that lots of seamstresses are selling cotton masks on eBay and Etsy, might procure one now before the rush should government change their mind 😷😬
 

rfield

Well-known Member
This might be of interest to someone - asian ingenuity.

There’s a shop in Japan called Daiso (bit like a pound shop, but far better) who have produced a guide on how to make a mask out of a sock. Actually looks pretty decent!

english guide:
Daiso sock mask
 

kenshingintoki

Well-known Member
Well FFP3 indicates that it blocks more than FFP2 that is a given. From that perspective one could argue that FFP3 is “better”. But like with everything that is not the only consideration. If you look at the virus and how it moves, that was established very early on and I posted about that numerous times, then the N95/FFP2 “masks” / respirators are sufficient for this particular virus.

But there is another side to it, and that is the fitting and creating a good seal. That becomes even more important with the N99/FFP3 standard, but is also very important with the N95/FFP2. There is also an N100/P3 respirator.

There is also the KN95 but that is a Chinese standard, and not really tested against. So you could get a good one, or you could not. The tight fitting as per the N95 and above simply doesn’t seem to be there either.

Also to remember N95/FFP2 upwards get rather difficult to wear. And the higher the number the harder it gets to breathe yourself. And don’t mistake the DIY grade dust respirators with the medical grade. Yes their offer the same level of personal protection when worn correctly. But you wouldn’t see an exhale valve on a medical grade respirator.

So give anyone wearing such respirators a lot of space as they could be still infecting you.

It really shouldn’t be underestimated how hard it is to breathe in the things when they are properly fitted and sealed. So seriously if you don’t need the higher level you shouldn’t want to wear it just because higher is better ;)

Oh and stay away from those who don’t shave and wear them. An almost guarantee they won’t have a seal and can still infect you 🤔☝

Hehehe I’ve been shaving a lot whilst staying at home, as I strictly do wear FFP2 when I’m out and about.

I've done multiple shifts in them. They're not THAT hard to wear to the extent its impossible.

I still wouldn't recommend the public need to wear them as the masks which have been worn by the majority of the public in countries which have successfully contained the virus are not FFP3 masks.
 

Ste7en

Distinguished Member
Soo... which facemasks to wear when you go to the shops then?

These Etsy ones everyone seems to be selling now? A snood? Or those 3M 'half a white coconut' ones?

No idea where to start.
 

realfrankturner

Well-known Member
The government is now advising everyone in England to use a face covering in enclosed spaces.

They say a face covering should cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably. It can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head.

They are urging people to make their own from an old T-shirt or cloth.
 

tigermad

Distinguished Member
But you won’t be able to breathe properly with a scarf or bandana tied tightly around the nose and mouth. If it’s loose it’s not even worth doing it.
 

rampant

Well-known Member
I'm over in Thailand and use a Respro Ultralight mask - very comfortable.

Ultralight™ Mask |

I wear it when cycling without breathing problems - I haven't tested with a oximeter to see if oxygen levels are ok whilst exercising, but I normally stop around every 20-30 mins for a drink, so task the mask off.

it has a PM2.5 filter.
 

tigermad

Distinguished Member
I'm over in Thailand and use a Respro Ultralight mask - very comfortable.

Ultralight™ Mask |

I wear it when cycling without breathing problems - I haven't tested with a oximeter to see if oxygen levels are ok whilst exercising, but I normally stop around every 20-30 mins for a drink, so task the mask off.

it has a PM2.5 filter.
Sounds ok but a quick glance and everywhere is out of stock. Going for silly money on eBay.
 

rfield

Well-known Member
Earlier in this thread I posted a mask guide from Daiso Japan you can make out of a sock, but here's another easy one (ie doesn't need a sewing machine)

Also has the advantage of being quite fun to make, plus makes one look quite cyberpunk!
BUMASK
 

rampant

Well-known Member
i hate the surgical type of masks, as they restrict your breathing (because the material is right next to your mouth) - where these have a 'pouch' in front so air circulates within
 

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