What Is The Difference Between Surgical Masks And Respirators ?

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As we continue to shift and adapt to the new normal, it’s common to see people wearing masks in public, when driving and while working. In light of COVID-19, we have been receiving questions about the many different mask styles people are seeing. Many wonder about which ones specifically offer respiratory protection and people often don’t know the difference between surgical masks and respirators.Let's talk about this issue today.

1. Different design

There is a big difference between respirators and surgical masks because they are designed for very different purposes.

 A surgical mask is a loose, disposable device that can form a physical barrier between the wearer's nose and mouth and potential contaminants in the surrounding environment. These are often called masks, although not all masks are regulated as surgical masks.

Surgical masks are often called flat masks, and their edges are not designed to form a seal around the nose and mouth.

The respirator is a respiratory protection device designed to achieve a very tight facial fit and very effective filtration of particles in the air. Please note that the edges of the respirator are designed to form a seal around the nose and mouth.

surgical mask

2. Different materials

Medical masks are usually composed of three layers of non-woven fabrics, and respirators are generally composed of 3-5 layers of non-woven fabrics.

Different grades of respirators have different materials

Medical mask: non-woven fabric/melt blown cloth (filter paper)/non-woven fabric

N95 respirator:

The first layer of spunbond non-woven fabric

The second layer of needle punched cotton non-woven fabric

The third layer of meltblown non-woven fabric

The fourth layer needle punched cotton non-woven fabric

FFP respirator

The first layer of spunbond non-woven fabric

The second layer of meltblown non-woven fabric

The third layer of needle punched cotton non-woven fabric

KN series respirator

The first layer of non-woven fabric

The second layer of hot air cotton

The third layer of meltblown cloth

The fourth layer of skin-friendly non-woven fabric

surgical mask

3. The standards are different

Respirators are called filtering face-piece respirators and are divided into different performance levels

l EN149:2001+A1:2019  FFP1 FFP2, FFP3

l GB2626   KN95, KN99, KN100

l NIOSH (42 CFR 84) N95, N99 N100

USA NIOSH (42 CFR 84)

China GB2626

N95/KN95

N99/KN99

N100/KN100

0.3um≥95%

0.3um≥99%

0.3um≥99.8%

European

EN149:2001+A1:2019

FFP1

FFP2

FFP3

0.3um≥80%

0.3um≥94%

0.3um≥95%

 

No matter the type of protection you need, it’s important to make sure your respirators or mask stay fresh and ready to use. If you wants to know more about this topic, you can contact Wellmien.

 

Wellmien provides globally medical care and food processing facilities with products including face masks, gowns, coveralls, aprons, bouffant caps, shoe covers, sleeve covers, under pads, disposable gloves, wound-care products, first-aid products and surgical packs etc. Our products are best sold to worldwide markets and widely applied to different settings such as hospitals, care centers, wholesalers, government agencies or institutes, food industries and households, etc. With excellent OEM services, our annual sales exceed 20 million USD. We are willing to making cooperation with you. 


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