Medical Masks and its Different Types

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Kaelis has been using all of its supply-chain management capabilities in order to fight back coronavirus. We have been providing to companies and organizations around the world the best PPE products to take care and to protect their customers and workforce.

Even today, masks are still the most effective way to keep the virus away. We posted at the end of May another press release about different certifications and what each one of them meant. This time, we want to talk about medical masks and the differences between them.

A medical mask is a disposable device that is used by health workers, anyone who is feeling unwell or people caring for suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 outside of health facilities to reduce potential exposure risk from an infected person whether they have symptoms or not. If worn properly, they are able to block droplets that may contain viruses or bacteria, preventing patients from infectious agents in the wearer’s mouth or nose.

They should ideally be made of 3 layers of fabric:
  • Medical Mask Inner layer of absorbent material, such as cotton;
  • Middle layer of non-woven non-absorbent material, such as polypropylene; and
  • Outer layer of non-absorbent material, such as polyester or polyester blend.

This non-woven fabric with low grammage achieves great longitudinal and transverse resistance that is the reason why it is so famous among the medical and hygiene sectors.

These masks play a major role in significantly reducing the exposure of your own secretions to others, that is why they are mandatory to use and even more in travel services.

There are three types of medical masks with their own specifications which are the following:
  • Medical Mask Type I: This kind of medical mask is the most common and has the ability to filter 95% of bacteria travelling in droplets, preventing patients from infectious agents in the wearer’s mouth or nose;
  • Medical Mask Type II: This kind of medical mask can filter 98% of bacteria traveling in droplets; and
  • Medical Mask Type IIR: This kind of mask has the ability to filter 98% of bacteria travelling in droplets and is also resistant to (blood) splatter from patients.
Table 1: Medical Masks Specifications per Type
Source: EN 14683:2019+AC:2019 Standard
BFE: Bacterial Filtration Efficiency measures the efficiency of bacteria filtering.
Breathability (ΔP) measures comfort while breathing.

Medical masks are not recommended to be used more than once and for no more than four hours. If the mask feels soiled or damaged, it should be removed. Once it has been taken off properly, you should discard it safely in a bag and you should put on a new one.

For more information on medical masks, please contact your Regional Director or click here.