One of the hottest topics of discussion during the recent outbreaks of swine flu has been the threat of a face mask with air flow capabilities. Last week, our editorial team published an article telling readers how they should use them to protect themselves from a deadly respiratory virus. The question we got from many readers was, are these masks safe? The answer to that question lies in how the virus is spread and how you can protect yourself from getting it.
The new president of Myanmar has requested people to wear face masks designed with air flow capabilities to help prevent the spread of deadly disease. Although no specifics have been released, many people already have used the masks, which contain a plastic spongy inside to keep air flowing through and prevent the entry of air borne pathogens. While no hard and fast guidelines have been released by the government or medical communities, many wonder if the porous spongy inside the masks is actually effective.
As with all health and safety matters, no one wants to take any risks, especially in situations where our health is at stake. On that note, one important factor to consider is that the porous polymeric material inside most face mask manufacturers does allow some air circulation. This is typically a positive thing because it means you do have a bit of an escape route. However, in situations where the virus is not contained, especially with the new Salkovac style disposable face masks, this benefit can turn into a real problem.
To be clear, it is absolutely safe to use face masks containing air flow and there are no known serious complications associated with them. The difference lies in the way it is used and the way the manufacturer has designed the device. As was mentioned above, these types of devices are typically used in healthcare settings and in places where the risk of air borne pathogens are high. The Salkovac and other disposable face masks mentioned above do not meet these criteria, specifically because they do not effectively contain the contaminants present.
What is that product that is so beneficial? It is the Knoll hand-made, fully custom face mask with air flow technology. The idea behind the device and the design is that the air passes through a layer of polymer that allows for optimal ventilation. When it comes to air quality, this is something very close to ideal. Not only is it safe but it is also highly effective in protecting your health.
Is it right for you? There are several advantages to using the Knoll N95 face mask. However, if you have a medical condition or are prone to allergies, this is not the right choice for you. Before making the final decision, speak with your physician and do extensive research into the many options available to you.