The mask is an indispensable tool to protect yourself from Covid-19 and to reduce the transmission of the virus. Especially in this period when we live with the virus, it is essential that everyone makes their part to mantain the social distancing and to reduce the contacts and also wearing the mask in a proper way.
Which mask to chosse among FFP2, fabric mask and washable masks?
The perfect mask doesn’t exist. The right mask depends on the contests in which we live and work. The PFF2, the surgical and the washable fabric masks are the 3 most diffused types. Let’s see together the characteristics and the function of the different types :
FFP2 Itaprotect Masks
The FFP2 mask are defined filtering face mask and are used in medical and healthcare enviroments to protect the user against external agents (also from the transmission of infections arising from droplets and aerosol), they are certificied CE according to the Legislative Decree n. 475/1992. The FFP2 Masks have an high filtering power in exhalation and inhalation (more than 90%), in contrast to the surgical mask which have 20% filtering power in inhalation. These masks are highly recommended for the health care professionals or for everyone in high-risk situation, as for example closed crowded spaces with low air exchange. Also the FFP2 Itaprotect mask are disposable and should be used no longer than 7-8 consecutive hours.
The technical standard UNI EN 149:2009 specifies the minimum requirements for the filtering dost-proof masks, used as protective device of the respiratory tract ( called FFP2 and FFP2), in order to guarantee the characteristics of efficiency, breathability, stability of the structure throught technical tests.
The surgical masks have the purpose of avoding the contamination of the enviroment from the user, since they reduce the transmission of infectious agents and are among the medical devices as per Legislative Decree 24th of February 1997, no. 46 and s.m.i.
Their filtering capacity is especially in exhalation: this means that possible respiratory secretions are blocked by the mask, avoiding the leakage of the potencially infected droplets. Using the mask in improper way can make it totally ineffective.
They are used in medical and healthcare enviroments ( for example hospital, practice). The surgical masks Itaprotect are the most used, also in theur shape and innovative design.
The masks can be acquired at the pharmacy and they are recommended by the authorities for all daily activies, as going shopping or at work. The surgical mask is disposal and be used for one day at most.
The surgical masks are effective in reducing the transmission only if used in correct way meaning have a “community” function.
The surgical masks should be certified according to the technical standard UNI EN 14683:2019 which identifies characteristics and test methods:
– spilled liquids resistant
– efficiency of bacterial transpiration
– cleaning by microbes
1. Every mask commercially available, different from FFP2 mask or surgical mask, is not a medical device, nor a PPE. The fabric masks cannot be used in medical and healthcare enviroments since they do not have the technical characteristics of the medical devices and of the PPE. The person wearing the mask has to respect in any case the safety regulations about social distancing for dealing with the emergency Covid-19. For the right use of the individual protection devices refer to the Report of the Italian National Institute of Health COVID-19 no. 2/2020.