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Understanding the Different Types of Face Masks

Women's Wear Daily -

As face masks are becoming more of a necessity for people around the world — and not just physicians and health-care professionals fighting the coronavirus — the purposes they serve are as varied as the individuals who wear them. Part of the increasing demand for masks stems from the fact that surgical masks and N95 respirators are not meant to be shared or reused. The widely referenced N95 respirators and surgical masks are examples of personal protective equipment used to protect wearers from airborne particles and from liquid contaminating the face. In addition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the regulation of N95 respirators in the U.S. is handled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The criteria for various medical face masks include material performance testing for bacterial filtration efficiency, differential, pressure resistance to synthetic blood, flammability and submicron particulate filtration efficiency. With essential PPE scarce in many health facilities due to the COVID-19 crisis, the FDA recently lifted requirements for different masks to increase availability. For example, face masks that are to be used for medical purposes but are not meant to provide

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