What are the types of facemasks available in UK ?
There are three types of face masks that are regularly observed while out in public or while following COVID-19 news stories:
FFP Respirators: FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3
FFP refers to “Filtering Facepiece” and the number 1 to 3 describes the level of protection offered by the respirators. The higher the level, greater effectively the mask filters airborne particles like dust or liquid particles. Hence, FFP3 respirators offers better protection against more hazardous substances and at elevated concentrations than FFP1 and FFP2 respirators.
Type IIR Face Masks:
The Type IIR masks are worn by healthcare practitioners during surgery to catch the microorganisms shed in fluid droplets and particulates from the user’s mouth and nose. Type IIR disposable masks are intended to help the wearers limit the transmission of respiratory droplets caused by coughs and sneezes, as well as a splash-resistant layer of fabric that shields the user from blood and bodily fluid splashes.
Fluid resistant Type IIR facemasks should be used in healthcare facilities when:
- carrying out direct personal care, such as washing and bathing, as well as personal hygiene and contact with bodily fluids.
- where there is a possibility of droplet spreading within 2 metres of a coughing person.
These facemasks are worn during a caregiving period till the worker takes a break from their responsibilities.
Polypropylene, a polymer that is processed as a fibre then blown into place to create the fabric, is used in the Type IIR surgical masks. To make these masks, manufacturers use a melt-blowing technology.
Cloth Face Mask Coverings :
The majority of reusable masks are constructed of woven fabric that vary from cotton to polyester. As one- and two-ply masks do not provide the comparable amount of filtration, the fabric mask should have at least three plies for maximum effectiveness. An inner layer that catches pathogenic microbes is critical to their filtering abilities.
The material has a lot to do with filtration capacities; the tighter the weave, the greater the filtration. Despite the fact that a tighter weave makes breathing more difficult, cotton is the chosen material since it delivers roughly 70% efficacy even without the inner filtering layer. The next best thing to three-ply woven masks are cotton masks with carbon filters.