Frequently Asked Questions
What are Filtering Face-Piece Respirators?
A respirator is a personal protective device that is worn on the face or head and covers at least the nose and mouth. Disposable filtering face piece respirators are designed to reduce inhalation exposure to particulate contaminants. These respirators are used to decrease exposure to particulates such as wood dust, animal dander, and pollen. More recently, health care facilities have been using N-95 filtering facepiece respirators for their workers for protection from infectious aerosolized droplets released from sick patients. Each country has its own certifications for respirators according to their standards for example, in India the BIS standard IS9473 is used, in Europe the CEN standard EN149 is used and in America the NIOSH 42 CFr Part 82 are used. For more details click here.
What are N95 Respirators?
An N95 Filtering FacePiece Respirator (FFPR) is a type of respirator which removes particles from the air that are breathed through it. These respirators filter out at least 95% of very small (0.3 micron) particles, including bacteria and viruses. The N95 grade is part of the NIOSH(42C-FR84) American certification standard however, in India it is colloquially used as a term for FFPRs. The HALO N95 Respirator has 5 Layers of filtering media which provide both comfort as well as protection from suspended particulate matter.
What is the difference between FFP2, N95 and KN95 Respirators?
All three types: FFP2, N95 and KN95 are very similar Filtering Face-Piece Respirators. They differ somewhat in a few testing criterias depandent on their respective country standards. The FFP2 class is part of both the Indian IS9473 and European EN149 standards. The N95 class is part of the American NIOSH 42C-FR84 standard. While the KN95 class is part of the Chinese GB2626 standard. For details on HALO respirator standards click here.
Are Filtering Face-Piece Respirators(N95) reusable?
All Filtering Face-Piece Respirators and Surgical Masks, made according to appropriate standards, are designed for single/one-time use only. As over time viruses and bacteria can build up on the exterior layer and over use can also make the filter media weak in protecting the wearer from such. We recommend not buying and wearing any FFPRs(N95) or Surgical Masks that advertise as reusable and washable as the inherently won't have the appropriate filter media required to protect the wearer. Further, we recommend not to reuse our FFPRs or Surgical Masks. However, in such unprecedented times of the COVID-19 Pandemic many accredited organisations, like the American Center For Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) have done studies and suggested best possible methods to reuse such masks if one has to due to shortages. You can read up more for re-use guidlines here
What are Surgical Masks?
A surgical mask is a loose-fitting, disposable device that creates a physical barrier between the mouth and nose of the wearer and potential contaminants in the immediate environment.If worn properly, a surgical mask is meant to help block large-particle droplets, splashes, sprays, or splatter that may contain germs (viruses and bacteria), keeping it from reaching your mouth and nose. Surgical masks may also help reduce exposure of your saliva and respiratory secretions to others. For further details please read here.
What is the difference between Spun Bond and Melt Blown Filter media?
Spun Bond and Melt Blown are both processes through which Non-Woven fabrics like Polypropylene(PP) are made into the filter media.Both processes are similar in nature, however the Melt Blown process yields a filter media that can filter out particles as small as 0.3microns while the best possible Spun Bond filter media can only filter out 0.5micron particle size. Further, there can be a lot of variation in Spun Bond fabrics and to cut costs, many a times manufacturers use lesser quality fabrics. We at Halo understand the importance of using the highest quality raw meterials as it is a question of life or death for our customers. That is why we recommend using our Surgical Masks which have a Melt Blown filter media in them, although for our customers who want to be economically reasonable we do provide Surgical masks made up of all Spun bond filter media layers that would filter out particles down to 0.5 microns. Further all our FFPRs have 2 layers of Melt Blown filter media in them to have utmost safety. For more details please refer here.
Are Surgical Masks Reusable?
All Filtering Face-Piece Respirators and Surgical Masks, made according to appropriate standards, are designed for single/one-time use only. As over time viruses and bacteria can build up on the exterior layer and over use can also make the filter media weak in protecting the wearer from such. We recommend not buying and wearing any FFPRs(N95) or Surgical Masks that advertise as reusable and washable as they inherently won't have the appropriate filter media required to protect the wearer. Further, we recommend not to reuse our FFPRs or Surgical Masks where possible. However, in such unprecedented times of the COVID-19 Pandemic many accredited organisations, like the American Center For Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) have done studies and suggested best possible methods to reuse such masks if one has to due to shortages. You can read up more for re-use guidlines here.
What mask/respirator is best to use for protection against Covid-19 and other viruses?
Both Filtering Face-Piece Respirators and Surgical Masks, when worn appropriately, filter out and act as a barrier against germs, bacteria and viruses. However, the loose-fitting nature of the Surgical Masks, makes it feasable to use only in controlled environments such as your home, workplace or friends & families homes i.e. small gatherings. While FFPRs(N95) with their tested and certified seal fit have no gaps between the mask and the wearer and have better filtration percentages making them the best possible protection against viruses like COVID-19. When worn appropriately, the respirators can be worn in public places or when meeting various number of people. They help protect the wearer and other people around the wearer from contamination. For futher details please refer here.
How to use FFPRs?
1. Research: Always make sure you are buying a certified respirator, which is tested by an accredited lab and marked by the respective certifying agency for the specific use. A respirator that is not certified may not provide the necessary protection you require.
How to use Surgical Masks?
1. Wash Hands: Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer before touching the mask.
2. Check: Check the mask for tears or holes in either side.
3. Wearing: Determine the top side i.e. the side of the mask that has a stiff bendable edge is the top and is meant to mold to the shape of your nose. Determine the front i.e. the colored side of the mask.
4. Securing: For Ear loops - hold the mask by the ear loops and place a loop around each ear. For Ties - bring the mask to your nose level and place the ties over the crown of your head and secure with a bow. Repeat for the lower toes around the nape of your neck.
5. Adjusting: Mold or pinch the stiff edge to the shape of your nose. Then gently pull the bottom of the mask over your mouth and chin.
6. Removal: Try not to touch the mask itself, as it will be contaminated. Only tough the ear loops or or tie-ons to remove the mask. Dispose of the mask appropriately and wash your hands with soap and water or sanitizer if running water is not available, immediately after disposing of the mask.
For further details please refer here.