SOS: How to Protect your Health in Times of Emergency with Safety Masks

Barely a week ago, people in the Philippines were shocked when they found out that the quiet Taal Volcano in Talisay and San Nicolas, Batangas erupted without notice, spewing thick ashes up to 14 kilometers that reached as far as Metro Manila. Residents living near the danger zone to their surprise had no choice but to immediately pack whatever they could find and evacuate their homes.

While safety and welfare are on top of the list for these displaced families whose lives were abruptly interrupted by this tragedy, there is one thing everyone needs to deal with the aftermath: Air quality. Volcanic ashes, which are dangerous particles and may be radioactive, can cause respiratory issues such as cancer and other complications in the lungs. The extensive reach encourages everyone even far away from the restricted zone to protect themselves with the use of a filtering respiratory device such as face masks.

Meanwhile, there is a growing concern about the possible outbreak of novel coronavirus, which happened to be a pneumonia-like disease similar to SARS.

Which Safety Face Mask is right for me?

The purpose of a gas mask is to protect the user from inhaling dangerous airborne substances. It is a form of defense from anything that could be harmful to one’s health in the long term. For protection against volcanic ash, it is suitable to use lightweight yet highly efficient respirators. There are different types of face protection: the N95 and the filtering facepiece, or FFP respirator.

The N95 mask (approved by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health or NIOSH) has been popularly known as a respiratory protective device to fit the face in order to filter airborne particles (like ashes and even small particles in the air that may contain viruses) efficiently. The ‘N95’ designation in the material means that it is undergone careful tests to see how the respirator could block at least 95% of the very small test particles (0.3 microns). This mask type is not designed for children and for people with facial hair. It must properly fit. N95 respirators are single-use disposable respiratory protective devices.

As people are exposed to upsetting smells, the FFP respirator offers an ideal proposition. Its protection function has passed the CE EN 149, this European standard that meets the minimum requirements for filtering half masks. It has additional classes such as FFP1 (low efficiency), FFP2 (medium efficiency), and FFP3 (high efficiency). The US N95 standard is almost equivalent to FFP2 or 3.

There are respectable brands that manufacture these masks.

The H801 series from Honeywell are N95-NIOSH certified, single-use masks without valve with a PU nose foam seal. They are remarkably fit as it is comfortable enough when worn throughout the day.

Because it is N95, it has the ability to filter to prevent 95% of solid particles and other hazards like the following

• Airborne particulates
• Biohazards
• Chemical
• Contamination
• Gas, vapors, and smoke

The nose clip is made of metal which is easy to shape around the nose. It is easy to wear when it is worn with safety goggles.

The X-Plore 1320V is an FFP2-certified molded valved respirator from Draeger, providing protection against fine dust, and solid and liquid particles which are found in construction, manufacturing, agricultural and service industries. The valve offers easy breathing. Communication is still possible while wearing the mask. Its inner layer is hypoallergenic and is easy on the skin.

The 8835 from 3M is a disposable respirator with a valve that provides great value for everyone. It has exceptional comfort thanks to its lightweight, off-the-face design. The soft inner face-seal ring increases comfort and can be hygienically cleaned if used for longer than one shift. The large surface area helps extend life while providing low breathing resistance. It is categorized FFP3, ensuring protection from

• Poisonous kinds of dust and smoke
• Oncogenic or radioactive substances
• Total leakage which may amount to a maximum of 5%
• OEL transgression to the thirtyfold value

Stay Alert. Better be Safe than Sorry

In times of crisis, it is important to have the right protective wear on your side or be left out with no equipment to protect you and your family. If you are looking for highly dependable face masks, we can help you with your much-needed supply.

For more information, contact any of the following offices:

Singapore
Phone: +65 6748 9773
E-mail: sales@macrovista.com

Philippines
Phone: +632 8633 9578
E-mail: salesph@macrovista.com