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Different Types Of Face Masks & What You Need To Know About Them

Ritz Aguspina | October 12, 2023
Different Types Of Face Masks & What You Need To Know About Them

If you believe that all face masks are the same, you are mistaken.

A surgical or cotton mask and a fitting P2 or N95 face mask are two very different masks. Surgical and fabric masks provide a barrier to splashes, drops, and spittle, but they do not filter minute particles from the air (such as COVID).

They provide some respiratory protection, but not as much as a P2 face mask, and because they are not fitted, air can escape and enter around the top and sides. Because the Coronavirus is spread through the air, a surgical or fabric mask will not provide enough protection.

Melt-blown filters, which use static electricity to trap dust and particles, are used in standard surgical masks and several other P2 face masks. When they become moist from breathing, however, their filtering efficacy plummets.

Despite the fact that the virus is airborne and the Delta strain is significantly more contagious than COVID-19's first generation, people are still wearing inadequate surgical and fabric masks. Despite the fact that P2 is the Australian standard (equal to US N95), more than half of imported N95 masks have been discovered to be either broken or phoney.


What is a P2 / N95? 

When used appropriately, disposable P2 or N95 face masks (also known as P2 or N95 respirators) may filter out very tiny particles from the air. They're made to fit over the bridge of the nose and the corners of the mouth, leaving no gaps between the mask and the face.

Surgical masks are made to protect the wearer from small particles such as drips and splashes. While they provide some respiratory protection, they do not provide the same level of filtration as a P2 face mask, and because they are not fitted, air can escape and enter around the top and sides. A surgical mask will not protect you from the Coronavirus because it is airborne.

The AMD P2 Nano-Tech Respirator, created in Australia, is a personal air purifier with four layers of ultra-fine nano-fibres that filter out 99.66 percent of airborne particles. The filter's densely tangled nanostructure allows it to be comfortably worn for up to 24 hours, providing long-lasting protection and good breathability. Unlike a standard P2 mask with a melt-blown filter, they are easier to breathe in and out due to the nanotechnology employed in their manufacture, and the filter will still operate if it becomes moist.


P2, N95, KN95, FFP2 are equivalent certifications 

All of these items must meet certain requirements for use with a respirator. They are certifications from regionally equivalent governing authorities.

Equivalent Product Type - Jurisdiction Relevant Standard Class: 

  • Australia & NZ - P2 - AS/NZS 1716: 2012; 
  • Europe - FFP2 - EN 149-2001 FFP2
  • USA - N95 - NIOSH-42CFR84 N95
  • China - KN95 - GB 2626:2019 KN95

How To Wear A P2 Face mask 

Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or a hand sanitiser such as Aquim before applying a face mask. Avoid touching the inner layer, which will come into contact with your nose and mouth.

Ascertain that the nose bridge strip is at the very top. Holding the edges of the mask, unfold it and place it over your nose and mouth. Pull one ear loop under your chin and over each ear. You're done once you've moulded the nasal bridge to your nose.

Air should not escape around the sides, top, or bottom of your mask. If it occurs, strengthen the seal by tying some loops in each ear loop or using a Mask Extender.

If you are unsure on which facemask to purchase, be sure to contact us at sales@platinumhealthsupply.com.au and one of our friendly sales representatives will be happy to assist you.