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How do we select the right face mask?

Types of face masks and the differences

Face masks are available in different types: civilian 3 ply, medical 3 ply, surgical 3ply, N95, cloth mask, and etc. The main differences between civilian, medical or surgical 3 ply mask are the thickness and charged melt blown material (middle layer of 3 ply) of the mask.

What differentiates a medical grade surgical face mask?

Medical and surgical grade 3-ply masks have a positively charged thicker melt blown material (>30g of melt blown). To optimize the current resources, these masks should be reserved for individuals in high risk areas such as medical professionals.

Is the civilian 3 ply mask good enough to block the virus?

Coronavirus spreads through droplets. Coronavirus is nano-sized whereas a droplet is micron-sized, which is much bigger than a virus. Therefore, a civilian 3 ply mask is good enough for public use to block the larger droplet.

Is it safe if I only wear a 3 ply face mask?

Yes, a civilian 3 ply mask is good enough for public use to block the larger droplet. Please remember to practise social distancing by keeping at least 1 meter away from others. You can also look for a better mask such as N95, KN95, or ASTM Level 3 face mask (4ply face mask for instance).

Does the reusable cloth mask protect me from COVID-19?

Recently, the Singapore government and the CDC recommend the use of reusable cloth mask for general public who are healthy. The concept is IMPORTANT - it is to block the spillage of big droplets when we talk and cough. It is the same concept that we cover our mouth when we cough with a handkerchief.

Can wearing a face mask protect me from COVID-19?

China is winning the battle against Covid-19 not with face masks alone. They are winning it by a good compliance to Movement Control Order. If everyone is able to do so, the world will be safer.



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