Face masks are mandatory in many states and essential to prevent virus transmission. But which is the best mask for protection?
Choosing a suitable mask can be the difference between lifesaving or useless. The CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends N95 masks. However, there are shortages, so they recommend reserving them for medical personnel.
However, the good news is, there is now a new option: nano masks. So, how do they compare to N95 masks? And do they offer the same protection?
Read on for all you need to know about nano masks versus N95 masks.
What Are N95 Masks?
N95 masks are a US standard mask approved for use in healthcare settings. While more companies are making them for commercial use, there are still shortages.
95 refers to the percentage of air particles the N95 mask can filter out. The layered filtration system prevents particles as small as .3 microns. They are designed to be disposable and only worn 2-3 times maximum.
What Is a Nano Mask?
A nano mask is an FDA 510k approved N95 Substantial Equivalent. It is a surgical mask with a difference. At first use, it can also filter 95% of particles.
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) designed this mask. Their motivation was to find a more efficient and sustainable option than N95 masks.
The main issue with N95 masks is that they are single-use. But medical personnel were given rations or did not have access due to shortages.
So KAIST designed a recyclable nano-fiber filter mask. It can fit inside any standard surgical mask, which is more readily available.
How Nano Masks Work
Like other masks, the electrostatic effect is what creates the filter. Nano masks have nanoparticles that have positive and negative charges. Their structure and alignment act as a barrier against outside contaminants.
When particles interact, the nanoparticles capture and destroy particles, including viruses. They have a large surface-to-volume area for efficient filtration.
The Main Features of Nano Masks
Nano masks can filter out 94% of particles after 20 washes with ethanol. The masks also keep their shape and breathability. They are designed to be reusable, and you can use them for up to a month.
You can handwash it to keep it clean. And if the outer mask is still usable, you can replace the nano mask filters.
The nano masks are made using the electrospinning process. This process creates ultrafine fibers with microscopic holes. They are small enough to prevent contaminants like coronavirus pathogens, allergens, and dust.
Coronavirus particles can be smaller than .3 microns. But often, they attach to droplets from coughing and other larger particles.
Similarities Between Nano and N95 Masks
The nano mask's efficiency is similar to the efficiency of N95 masks. They are both 95% efficient at first use.
Both are also multi-layered and filter similar levels of microns, including coronavirus pathogens. They are worn the same way and are designed with breathability in mind.
Differences Between N95 and Nano Masks
There are more differences between the masks than similarities. N95 masks are made with synthetic material, such as polypropylene plastic polymer. They do partly depend on electrostatics, with dielectric microfibers.
In comparison, electrospinning creates fine fiber layers, which are more sustainable. So although both masks successfully collect particles, they do it in different ways.
Nano masks are efficient for up to one month of multiple uses. In comparison, N95 masks degrade in efficiency quickly. N95 masks are not reusable or water-resistant, and they lose their electrostatic function much quicker.
The surface level of nano masks also has higher absorption levels. High filtration usually causes pressure drop that can inhibit breathing ability. However, nanotechnology makes breathing easier than N95 masks.
Other differences include the levels of heat and carbon emissions. The nano masks have a higher performance capability for both.
How Other Reusable Masks Differ
Other reusable masks do not have the filtration levels of nano masks. So you will not have the same level of protection.
Nano masks are the only reusable masks to maintain their efficiency after washing. They retain their structure and breathability. These factors make them stand out from other reusable face masks.
Benefits of Nano Masks
Experts estimate over 129 billion face masks are being produced every month. This is a lot of waste. Nano masks offer a sustainable option without sacrificing efficiency.
They also offer a solution to any shortages of N95 masks. You can disinfect them between uses without worrying about your safety.
The breathability and efficiency are also great benefits. Nano masks also offer flexibility, as they can be used with other PPE gear.
There is no doubt that N95 masks and nano masks are equally great options. Initially, both offer the same amount of protection.
However, for multiple uses, nano masks fare better than N95 masks. They are an environmentally friendly option too, which can address any mask shortages.
It is also possible that this is a better option for people with respiratory problems. The breathability improves comfort and helps encourage regular usage.
A nano mask is the best reusable N95 mask to pick. The fact it is also FDA-approved indicates its reliability. It is FDA 510k approved N95 Substantial Equivalent.
However, like with any mask, you must wear it correctly to reap the benefits. Always wear it over your nose and mouth. And make sure the mask is secure against your face.
Nano Masks for Sale
The mask market continues to grow, but if you want a reliable mask, consider an N95 or nano mask. Research continues to grow, but right now, nano masks fare well against N95 masks.
There are many counterfeit nano masks for sale. Make sure you buy from a licensed and reliable seller.We have nano masks for sale. LMI only uses FDA-approved factories for our medical supplies. Contact us today for more information.