Which type of face mask is best?

Face masks have now become the new norm for everyone around the world. It’s a reality that many don’t like but we know it’s a necessity, as it keeps us all safe. It can be difficult to know which type of face mask is the best one. Here at Face Masks UK we know exactly how difficult it can be to try and find the best performing face masks, so we have given some helpful input on the topic that may help you to make your decision.

Disposable Surgical Face Masks: We stock a range of disposable face masks. such as the disposable 3-ply mask with the regular ear loop, the disposable 3-ply mask with TIE-ON ear loops, Type IIR fluid resistant surgical face mask, and disposable children face masks. These masks are all good options if worn correctly and are very effective. These masks are all made from skin friendly filter cloth and can protect against multiple things including dust, contaminants, and allergens. The fabric is made with 3 layers of non-woven fibre, its soft and breathable, and also provides effective protection.

10x Respirator Mask with Valve for Personal Protection: This is an N95 approved mask and has a filtration system that is rated at 95 percent. These masks offer effective protection against aerosols, non-oil based particles and other things from being breathed in. The cool flow valve helps reduce moisture build-up inside of the respirator. It is 30% easier to breathe in to that of a regular disposable face mask.

N95 Mask: We offer the 8210 N95 face mask particulate respirator mask. It is NIOSH approved; it has an approval that has a 95 percent filtration efficiency against certain non-oil based particles. It has the two-strap design that is welded to the mask; this will help provide a secure seal on the mask. It also has a cushioning nose foam; the construction is lightweight which helps to promote long wear time and being able to get more done with it on.

VFlex 9105 Half Masks Protection Class N95 Niosh: These masks are an economical N95 disposable particulate respirator mask. It is made with a proprietary filter media and V-shaped pleats which make breathing a lot easier. It has uniquely designed tabs for respirator positioning on the face. The pleats also make it easier to talk.
Activated Carbon Filters: These are made with high quality material; composed of non-woven fabric and have activated carbon and advanced filter cotton.

Face Masks UK is not just a place for you to get face masks, but we also have all type of PPE materials that you may need. We have available to you: disposable hand gloves, disposable aprons, sanitising products, and more. Whether you are in need of face masks, disposable gowns, disposable sleeves, alcohol wipes, hand sanitiser, surface cleaner, pre-injection swabs, face shields, safety glasses, and gloves. We have everything you need to make sure your safety is put in first place at all times and those that you are around can be kept safe as well.

We have always been proud to offer a large variety of face masks, PPE items, and sanitising items to you. We know there are a lot of masks, but knowing what each mask does and is good for will hopefully help you decide which is best for you and your needs! Whatever you decide on doing, make sure you have the best face mask for yourself and that will be the best item for what you need it for.

Can Wearing a Face Mask Reduce Your Oxygen Intake?

Now that institutions encourage people to wear face masks to prevent the spread of the corona virus, some are finding excuses for not wearing them. The popular claim includes an assumption that these masks reduce their oxygen intake. Others assume that they retain exhaled carbon dioxide, forcing them to inhale it and feel faint. However, this claim is not valid. Since the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic, wearing face masks has become a norm worldwide. Nowadays, as you step out of your house, you can never forget looping your face mask around your ears beside covering your face and nose. Face masks have become increasingly mandated in accessing amenities, public transport, and stores. They protect viral particles from another person that coughs, sneezes, or speaks near you from entering your respiratory tract. With a face mask, you remain protected from unknowingly transmitting the virus to others.

Debunked Myth About Face Mask Impeding Oxygen Intake

Despite advantages accrued from using masks, people are continually finding excuses not to wear them. The current debunked myth being fueled by social media states that masks can reduce your oxygen intakes. However, the assumption has no scientific backing, and it should never be an excuse for non-compliance. Scientific information shows that researchers are increasingly convinced that face masks help reduce the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus without impeding breathing or affecting the level of oxygen intake, or causing carbon dioxide “intoxication” in the body.

Wearing A Face Mask Cannot Make You Inhale Too Much Carbon Dioxide

Although concerns of discomfort, increased pulse, and impaired breathing may be possible while behind that layer of protection, do not worry about your breathing. Be assured that you are getting all the oxygen your body functions need, and your carbon dioxide (CO2) are not rising. The difficulty you may experience while wearing facemasks has no link to your oxygen intake. Instead, it may be due to anxiety or claustrophobia, similar to the panic you may experience while getting into the CT scanner. You can minimise this anxiety by practicing breathing techniques to help you remain calm while wearing a mask. These calming practices may include taking long and slow breathes to stabilize your breathing. You can also practice wearing the masks for shorter periods while at home to adapt to breathing with the mask covering your nose and mouth eventually.

Medical Practitioners Have Used Face Masks for Decades

The fact that medical practitioners have worn face masks for decades should debunk claims that wearing the reduces your oxygen intake and reassure people to wear them. The risk of medical professional exhibiting significantly low or high levels of either oxygen or carbon dioxide while covering their faces with mask remain insignificant

The Logic Behind the Fears That Wearing A Face Mask Reduce Your Oxygen Intake

Wearing a facemask properly means that you cover your mouth and nose without leaving gaps on the sides; the mask extends from down below the chin and covers the nostrils by covering the nose’s bridges. Some users often worry that this may contribute to increased carbon dioxide trapped by these hygiene face masks, causing them to inhale it more. However, medical experts and renown organizations, such as WHO, expel this doubt now that their investigations show no concerning signs of hypoxia, which is commonly caused by reduced blood oxygen. They affirm that face masks cannot retain carbon dioxide (CO2), leading to intoxication even after prolonged use.

In conclusion

Concern that face masks impede gas exchange, leading to inadequate oxygen supplies and carbon dioxide “intoxication” remains a misconception. Researchers and medical practitioners dispel this myth surrounding the use of face masks. They ascertain that face masks do not in any way impede your breathing. Therefore, as you continue protecting yourself and your loved ones, remember that Face Masks UK cares about your health. They stock a wide range of hygiene face masks, including disposable surgical face masks and N95 respirators.

Protecting yourself from Covid-19 when returning to work

You Need to Protect Yourself From COVID-19

COVID-19 is a serious threat. Yes, there are patients who come out of it with minimal issues. However, there are enough patients who suffer that people should put serious effort into protecting themselves and their loved ones. This is particularly true because COVID-19 has proven to be so infectious, which is one of the main reasons that it has managed to become a pandemic. Fortunately, there are ways that interested individuals can protect themselves.

How Can You Protect Yourself From COVID-19?

Here are some examples:

Spread Out

Social distancing has been recommended since the start. The exact recommendation can see a fair amount of variation. However, more space between people makes it that much more difficult for the virus to jump from person to person. As such, it is a good idea for each individual to have at least 4m² to themselves, particularly if they will be working in an enclosed space.


Good airflow is needed to dilute the concentration of the virus in the air. Unfortunately, this can actually backfire if good airflow isn’t combined with good ventilation because that will enable the virus to spread out without being diluted in the process. Having fresh air rather than recirculated air is important, so even something like opening the windows can prove to be important.

Wear a Mask

People should be wearing a facemask whenever they are close to people who aren’t members of their household. In part, this is because they need to protect others. However, it should also be mentioned that wearing the masks can protect them as well. Of course, this is assuming that the masks are worn in the right way, which means covering both the nose and the mouth before sealing it using the strip at the top. Furthermore, it’s recommended to avoid touching the outside of the mask as it could well be covered by the virus.

Consider Other PPE

Other kinds of PPE can prove to be very useful as well. For instance, the eyes are a potential point of entry for the virus, so a pair of safety glasses can provide interested individuals with some much-needed peace of mind. Similarly, people touch everything with their hands, which is why a pair of disposable gloves can come in use when they are interacting with surfaces that other people have touched. Other examples of potentially useful PPE range from hair nets to sleeves and shoe covers.

Wash Your Hands

One of the biggest risks would be people touching a surface that has been contaminated with COVID-19 before touching either their eyes, their nose, their mouth, or some other part of their face. Theoretically, people can stop touching their faces. In practice, this is something so normal that even a moment’s lapse in their vigilance will result in people touching their face. Instead, it is a much better idea to wash the hands on a regular basis. This means washing for at least 20 seconds using soap and water. On top of this, it should be mentioned that there are some moments when it is particularly important to wash & sanitise. For example, washing hands is a good idea before either eating food or preparing food. Likewise, washing hands is a good idea after coughing, sneezing, blowing the nose, touching the mask, and even leaving a public space. When it comes to COVID-19, it is better to be too careful rather than not careful enough.

Sanitize Surfaces

On a related note, it is a good idea to sanitise surfaces on a regular basis. For instance, if people don’t have the chance to wash their hands, they should use a hand sanitiser that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. However, sanitisers are also very useful for surfaces that a lot of people come into contact with. After all, the virus can survive for hours and hours on certain surfaces, thus making this a very real concern for interested individuals.

Further Considerations

Despite the enormous interest in COVID-19, it is still a relatively new disease. Due to this, researchers are still turning up new information on a regular basis, which can be put to practical use in workplaces as well as other public spaces. As a result, people should continue paying attention to keep up-to-date on the best practices for COVID-19 prevention.

Face Masks: The Do’s & Don’ts

The Do’s of a Mask

• Do wear your mask whenever you are leaving your house

• Do stay 6 feet away from the next person when in public

• Do clean your hands before wearing your mask when you touch it and after removing it

• Do wear your mask at home if living with an aged person or one whose immunity is compromised

• Do ensure your mask fits snugly, leaving not even a tiny gap.

• Do ensure your mask has multiple layers of fabric and you can breathe comfortably through it.

• Do wash your reusable mask regularly with warm water and detergent then dry it completely

The Don’ts of a Face Mask

• Don’t hang the mask on one of your ears; put it on your forehead, around your neck, or anywhere else apart from covering your nose and mouth

• Don’t touch the front of the mask because that part is contaminated. If you do, make sure you wash your hand with soap and water or use a sanitizer.

• Don’t leave your nose out when wearing the mask. Cover it together with your mouth for maximum protection

• Don’t cover any child below the age of two with a facemask or anyone who has trouble breathing or cannot take off the mask by themselves.

• Don’t use medical-grade masks. They are scarce and only reserved for health workers and other medical responders.

• Don’t push your mask down around your chin or neck when eating or drinking. Follow the mask removing procedure and put the mask aside. Once you are done, follow the mask-wearing procedure and have it back.

• Don’t wear torn, soiled, saturated, or any other mask that is not in good condition

• Don’t touch your eyes before cleaning your hands or using a sanitizer. Your eyes are an entry point for the virus

• Don’t be confident with the mask alone. Keep social distance and clean your hands often. You can still get infected if you get close to an infected person, even when wearing a mask.

• Don’t go out when you are feeling unwell, such as when you have a fever or are coughing

A face mask acts as a barrier to help prevent the wearer’s respiratory droplets from reaching the other person. Respiratory droplets are released into the air when you talk, sing, sneeze, shout, or cough. If the respiratory droplets contain viruses or germs, you are likely to infect the next person. Because of the current coronavirus pandemic, the UK government requires wearing masks in public such as social gatherings, public and mass transportation, and any other places where people meet.

Types of Masks and How They Work

Cloth masks

Cloth or fabric masks should include multiple layers of fabric. A cloth mask traps the droplets of the wearer from getting to the other person. It can be washed and reused. The spread of covid-19 can be slowed down if everybody wears a mask while in public.

Surgical/medical masks

This mask protects your mouth and nose from contact with splashes, droplets, or sprays that may contain germs. It may also protect others from exposure to your saliva and respiratory secretions. Surgical masks can be used in place of N95 masks for protection against coronavirus.

N95 masks

An N95 mask compared to a surgical mask offers better protection against airborne particles like germs and viruses. The mask can filter out both large and small particles when inhaling. As the name suggests, this mask filters 95 percent of very small particles. Just like surgical face masks masks, they are intended to be disposed of after use. N95 masks have been proven to reduce the inhalation of contaminated air during outbreaks of respiratory illnesses and intense air pollution.

Steps to Follow When Wearing/Removing Your Mask

Wearing Your Mask

For the mask to effectively protect you, you need to wear it correctly. Below is a step by step guide on how you should wear your mask

  • Before you touch the mask, make sure your hands are clean— wash your hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer. Now that your hands are clean, you can go ahead and remove the mask from its box.
  • Check both sides of the mask to ensure it does not have any tears or holes.
  • Determine which side of the mask is top and which one is bottom. Also, check to see which part will face inside. The colored side of the mask is usually meant to face outside.
  • Depending on your type of face mask, follow one of the following instructions.
  • For a mask with ear loops, hold the ear loops and place it on your ears
  • For a mask with bands, use your fingertips to hold the nosepiece then bring it to the level of your nose. Pull the top strap over your head, ensuring it rests well over the crown of your head, then the bottom strap over your head again so that it rests at the nape of your neck.
  • For a mask with ties, bring the mask to your nose’s level, then secure the top ties in a bow over the crown of your head and the bottom ties in a bow at the nape of your neck
  • Whichever mask you wear, pull it over your mouth and chin to ensure it covers you properly
  • For ease of breathing, pinch the top of your mask’s stiff edge to the shape of your nose.

Removing Your Mask

  • Wash your hands, or use a sanitizer, then follow one of the following instructions based on your type of face mask
  • For the one with ear loops, hold both ear loops, then remove the mask.
  • For the one with bands, start by lifting the bottom strap over your head then the top strap
  • For the one with ties, untie the bottom bow before the top
  • Throw the mask in the dustbin, then wash your hands or use a sanitizer.

A facemask combined with other preventive measures such as frequently cleaning your hands and keeping social distance helps slow down the spread of coronavirus. Remember, not all people who have the virus have symptoms. As such, it’s always important to always be wary of how you conduct yourself when in gatherings. No one is immune to the virus.

Addressing The Common Face Mask Myths

Common face mask misconceptions

In many countries worldwide, wearing a face mask is mandatory in places where social distancing is not possible, like in schools, petrol stations, hair salons, and retail stores. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, this is to help prevent the spread of the recent coronavirus outbreak. However, there is still so much to learn about coronavirus since there is a lot of misinformation circulating about face masks. Here are a few common misconceptions and facts concerning face masks:

Masks can be made from any material

With some people against the whole idea of wearing face masks, there are various sellers online offering lace and mesh masks for purchase. These vendors claim that the masks are more breathable. However, these masks do not fulfil their function of trapping respiratory droplets, which can be passed on through coughing, talking, and sneezing. The best masks are made using a tight-knit material and a filter pocket to prevent respiratory droplets from passing through the mask.

Only sick people should wear face masks

Just because you don’t have any symptoms does not mean you are not sick. According to the CDC, pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic people can still spread the coronavirus, even if they don’t know if they’re sick. To prevent the coronavirus’s spread to others, it is safe to wear a mask any time you are in public or with people who are not from your household. This lowers the risk of spreading respiratory droplets from coughing, talking, and sneezing.

Since the coronavirus lingers in the air long enough for someone to breathe it in, it is advisable to always have a mask on. Wearing it creates a barrier that traps the virus-droplets that might still be in the air. In simpler terms, if you’re not wearing a face mask and you breathe in the same air as an infected person who isn’t wearing a face mask, then you are at a higher risk of being infected too.

Wearing a face mask makes you inhale too much carbon dioxide

Wearing a mask properly means it covers your nose’s bridge, just above your nostrils, and extends down below your chin without leaving any gaps on the sides and completely covering your mouth. Some people suggest that medical face masks trap carbon dioxide that people breathe out and cause them to inhale it in more. WHO, however, says that prolonged use of face masks does not in any way lead to carbon dioxide intoxication.

Moreover, healthcare practitioners have been wearing masks for decades and have never been poisoned from CO2. The feeling some people get from being unable to breathe well is not related to oxygen intake. In case you have anxiety problems while wearing a mask, it is recommended that you practice wearing it for short periods while gradually increasing the duration. The more you have it on, the less you will notice it.

Wearing face masks weakens your immune system

This misconception comes from the idea that the human immune system becomes more potent when exposed to bacteria and other pathogens. However, according to the American Lung Association, there is no evidence that this is true. The fact is wearing a mask and washing your hands will not negatively affect your immune system, especially if you’re an adult with a well-developed immune system.

You don’t need a mask if you’ve had coronavirus before

If you had tested positive for coronavirus before or had a positive result to an antibody test, you may think you do not need to wear a mask. The truth is, at this time, there is no way of knowing whether having coronavirus provides immunity from the disease again or even how long your immunity might last. Therefore, this means that if you do not wear a mask, you could potentially catch the virus again and spread it to others.

You do not need to stay at home if you’re wearing a mask

As you decide about going out, face masks are just one strategy of the various prevention measures against COVID-19. Wearing a mask in public is highly effective and can make you and those around you safe. However, it does not mean that things are back to normal. It is vital to stay home whenever you can to help reduce the spread of the virus.

Cloth masks do not protect you

On the contrary, cloth face masks are useful. They offer a barrier between your nose and mouth and those around you. This makes it difficult for coronavirus droplets to spread through sneezes, coughs, and speaking to other people. The primary use of cloth masks keeps you from unknowingly spreading any diseases to others, and they also indirectly help you avoid touching your face.

You do not have to social distance if you wear a mask

Wearing a mask minimizes your chance of spreading or catching the novel coronavirus; however, it is not enough to use it as your only precaution. Unlike N95 masks that are medically certified, the face masks you purchase or make at home only have one fabric layer instead of three, and most of them do not have a filter. Social distancing means that you are putting more space between you and others, reducing the chances of the virus from spreading.

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Face coverings now compulsory on all public transport in England

From the 15th June 2020, it is compulsory for everyone travelling on public transport in England to wear a face covering.

What is the rule around face masks?

The UK government recently updated its advice regarding the use of face masks to stop the spread of coronavirus, due to a sharp increase of people using public transport in order to commute back to work. The new government guidelines are now in sync with the World Health Organization’s advice.

The new rules apply to England and require anyone travelling by bus, coach, train, tram, Tube, ferry or plane to cover their face while on board.

They exclude school transport, taxis and private hire vehicles – whilst Uber has made face coverings compulsory for its passengers and drivers.

  • Children under the age of 11, disabled people and people with certain health issues are to be exempt from the rule.
  • Hospital visitors and outpatients must also wear face masks.

The main focus of the new measures is to help stop and reduce the asymptomatic people transmitting the virus on to others and also act as a visible reminder of the need for distancing and hygiene measures such as handwashing.

How will the rule be enforced?

The government announced that under new conditions, fines may be issued for anyone seen to be flouting the face-covering rule.

People not wearing a mask or face covering will be asked to wear one or could be refused access to public transport and fined £100.

Some stations are handing out free disposable masks, while45]nnouncements and signage remind commuters of the new rules in force.

Over 3,000 extra staff, including police, have been deployed at stations to enforce the new rules.

Shop wide range of face masks at the best prices:

(COVID-19) Advice – When & How to Use Face Masks

When to use a mask

  • Before putting on a face mask, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
  • Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks.
  • To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of the mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

When & how to wear medical face masks to protect against coronavirus?

  • If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with COVID-19.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.

How to put on, use, remove and dispose of your face mask

When you should use a face mask

Coronavirus common misconceptions and myths

Currently there are no drugs licensed for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19

While several drug trials are ongoing, there is currently no proof that hydroxychloroquine or any other drug can cure or prevent COVID-19. The misuse of hydroxychloroquine can cause serious side effects and illness and even lead to death. WHO is coordinating efforts to develop and evaluate medicines to treat COVID-19.

Adding peppers or chilies to your soup or other meals DOES NOT prevent or cure COVID-19

Hot peppers or chilies in your food, though very tasty, cannot prevent or cure COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself against the new coronavirus is to keep at least 1 metre away from others and to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. It is also beneficial for your general health to maintain a balanced diet, stay well hydrated, exercise regularly and sleep well.

COVID-19 CAN NOT be transmitted through houseflies

To date, there is no evidence or information to suggest that the COVID-19 virus transmitted through houseflies. The virus that cause COVID-19 spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. You can also become infected by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands. To protect yourself, keep at least 1-metre distance from others and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces. Clean your hands thoroughly and often and avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.

Spraying and introducing bleach or another disinfectant into your body WILL NOT protect you against COVID-19 and can be dangerous

Do not under any circumstance spray or introduce bleach or any other disinfectant into your body. These substances can be poisonous if ingested and cause irritation and damage to your skin and eyes.

Bleach and disinfectant should be used carefully to disinfect surfaces only. Remember to keep chlorine (bleach) and other disinfectants out of reach of children.

Drinking methanol, ethanol or bleach DOES NOT prevent or cure COVID-19 and can be extremely dangerous

Methanol, ethanol, and bleach are poisons. Drinking them can lead to disability and death. Methanol, ethanol, and bleach are sometimes used in cleaning products to kill the virus on surfaces – however you should never drink them. They will not kill the virus in your body and they will harm your internal organs.

To protect yourself against COVID-19, disinfect objects and surfaces, especially the ones you touch regularly. You can use diluted bleach or alcohol for that. Make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.

Exposing yourself to the sun or to temperatures higher than 25C degrees DOES NOT prevent the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

You can catch COVID-19, no matter how sunny or hot the weather is. Countries with hot weather have reported cases of COVID-19. To protect yourself, make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

You can recover from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Catching the new coronavirus DOES NOT mean you will have it for life.

Most of the people who catch COVID-19 can recover and eliminate the virus from their bodies. If you catch the disease, make sure you treat your symptoms. If you have cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early – but call your health facility by telephone first. Most patients recover thanks to supportive care.

Being able to hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing or feeling discomfort DOES NOT mean you are free from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) or any other lung disease.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are dry cough, tiredness and fever. Some people may develop more severe forms of the disease, such as pneumonia. The best way to confirm if you have the virus-producing COVID-19 disease is with a laboratory test.  You cannot confirm it with this breathing exercise, which can even be dangerous.

Drinking alcohol does not protect you against COVID-19 and can be dangerous

Frequent or excessive alcohol consumption can increase your risk of health problems.

COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates

The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by maintaining physical distance of at least 1 metre from others and frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

Cold weather and snow CANNOT kill the new coronavirus.

There is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill the new coronavirus or other diseases. The normal human body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the external temperature or weather. The most effective way to protect yourself against the new coronavirus is by frequently cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water.

Taking a hot bath does not prevent the new coronavirus disease

Taking a hot bath will not prevent you from catching COVID-19. Your normal body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the temperature of your bath or shower. Actually, taking a hot bath with extremely hot water can be harmful, as it can burn you. The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

The new coronavirus CANNOT be transmitted through mosquito bites.

To date there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes. The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Also, avoid close contact with anyone who is coughing and sneezing.

Are hand dryers effective in killing the new coronavirus?

No. Hand dryers are not effective in killing the 2019-nCoV. To protect yourself against the new coronavirus, you should frequently clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Once your hands are cleaned, you should dry them thoroughly by using paper towels or a warm air dryer.

Ultra-violet (UV) lamps should not be used to disinfect hands or other areas of your skin

UV radiation can cause skin irritation and damage your eyes.

Cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or washing your hands with soap and water are the most effective ways to remove the virus.

How effective are thermal scanners in detecting people infected with the new coronavirus?

Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have developed a fever (i.e. have a higher than normal body temperature) because of infection with the new coronavirus.

However, they cannot detect people who are infected but are not yet sick with fever. This is because it takes between 2 and 10 days before people who are infected become sick and develop a fever.

Do vaccines against pneumonia protect you against the new coronavirus?

No. Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus.

The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV, and WHO is supporting their efforts.

Although these vaccines are not effective against 2019-nCoV, vaccination against respiratory illnesses is highly recommended to protect your health.

Can regularly rinsing your nose with saline help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?

No. There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus.

There is some limited evidence that regularly rinsing nose with saline can help people recover more quickly from the common cold. However, regularly rinsing the nose has not been shown to prevent respiratory infections.

Can eating garlic help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?

Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus.

Does the new coronavirus affect older people, or are younger people also susceptible?

People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.

WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.

Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the new coronavirus?

No, antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria.

The new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment.

However, if you are hospitalized for the 2019-nCoV, you may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible.

Are there any specific medicines to prevent or treat the new coronavirus?

To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

However, those infected with the virus should receive appropriate care to relieve and treat symptoms, and those with severe illness should receive optimized supportive care. Some specific treatments are under investigation, and will be tested through clinical trials. WHO is helping to accelerate research and development efforts with a range or partners.

Face Masks Standards – Filtration Effectiveness & Ratings

Understanding Varying Levels of Face Mask Protection

Face Mask standards will no doubt be confusing to the majority of the general public – surgical masks, respirators, ffp3 or N95? In this post we will cover the main face mask types, mask ratings, and what their effectiveness at filtering particles/contaminates can be.

We will begin by looking at the different mask types and certification types. Generally, there are around 3 or 4 types of the more commonly used disposable face masks. They are single-use face masks, surgical masks, and respirator face masks.


Mask TypeStandardsFiltration Effectiveness
Blue Disposable Surgical Face Masks 3 Ply Tie-on - One SizeSingle-Use Face MaskChina: YY/T09693.0 Microns >95%

0.1 Microns > X


Green Disposable Surgical Face Masks 3 Ply With Ear Loop - One Size

Surgical Mask

China: YY 04693.0 Microns >95%

0.1 Microns >30%

USA: ASTM F2100Level 1Level 2Level 3
3.0 Microns: >95%

0.1 Microns: 95%

3.0 Microns: >98%

0.1 Microns: 98%

3.0 Microns: >98%

0.1 Microns: >98%

Europe: EN 14683Type 1 Type 2 Type 3
3.0 Microns: >95%

0.1 Microns: X

3.0 Microns: >98%

0.1 Microns: X

3.0 Microns: >98%

0.1 Microns: X

FFP3 N95 Face MaskRespirator MaskUSA: NOSH (42 CFR 84)
China: GB2626
N95 / KN95N99 / KN99N100 / KN100
0.3 Microns: >95%0.3 Microns: >99%0.3 Microns: >99.97%
Europe: EN 149:2001FFP1FFP2FFP3
0.3 Microns: >80%0.3 Microns: 94%0.3 Microns: 95%

3.0 Microns: Bacteria Filtration Efficiency standard (BFE).
0.1 Microns: Particle Filtration Efficiency standard (PFE).
0.3 Microns: Used to represent the most-penetrating particle size (MPPS), which is the most difficult size particle to capture.
X: No requirements.

Standards & Effectiveness Overview

  1. Single-use face masks – These are usually a thin single layer mask primarily used for capturing dust-sized particles and contaminates.
  2. Surgical face mask – These masks have a higher standard of requirement for capturing virus-sized (0.1 microns) particles, but the standards can change by country also.
  3. Respirator face masks capture >90% of virus-sized particles. Browse the rating table above to see the exact proportion each certification requires.

Certifications Change Country by Country

Many countries will use their own standards and certifications for each face mask type. For instance, the EU uses the EN 14683 standard for surgical face masks, but China uses the YY 0469 standard. Each standard varies a little by country, however, they are fairly similar.

Requirements Are Lowest for Single Use Masks

The face mask with the lowest requirements on filtration performance is the single-use face masks (not to be confused with surgical masks). Surgical masks have higher requirements, and respirators face masks have the highest requirements. Respirators masks often have a tighter fit around the face than both surgical masks and single-use face masks.

Rating Levels of Masks – N95, FFP1, FFP2 & FFP3

The ratings are for the filtration level of the face mask, as well as other things.

EN 149:2001+A1:2009 / ASTM F2100 / NIOSH

These are standards for face masks. They outline the rules and testing practices companies follow to rate their face masks. These mask standards define the N95, FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3.