Almost 7 months into the Covid-19 pandemic there is an abundance of information being released to the general public regarding the use of masks and their efficiency. One minute the CDC and World Health Organization state that cloth masks to the public and the next they recommended N95 or KN95 equivalent masks as a minimum requirement. As a result we are finding that many of our customers and the general public are confused on why masks are needed and how they actually work. This includes our Powercap Active.
We thought we would do our best to provide some answers to help clarify things for you. As always, please be sure to consult a licensed healthcare professional before wearing PPE any application, follow local ordinances for mask wearing best practices for social distancing, and be sure to get tested if you feel you have symptoms that could stem from COVID-19 exposure.
Do Masks Actually Reduce the Spread of Covid?
The coronavirus is spread through respiratory droplets expelled when we sneeze, talk, yell, etc. This is why covering the nose and mouth is an effective way to protect yourself and others, as it limits the spread of those droplets, which in turn reduces the spread of the virus.
Do People Who Are Not Infected Need to Wear Masks?
The CDC states that there is an up to 14-day period where individuals can transmit the virus even if they themselves exhibit no symptoms. Because of this long gestation period, everyone should wear a mask even if they don’t feel they are infected. In addition, because of current rapid testing isn’t considered 100% reliable, even those that recently tested negative should wear a mask so as to prevent themselves from accidentally spreading a disease they may not know they have or becoming reinfected by someone else in the same position.
Do Masks Protect the People Wearing Them or the People Around Them?
Almost all PPE, including masks and positive pressure respirators, is designed to primarily protect the wearer and not the people around them. Given the highly infectious nature of the virus that causes COVID-19 and its ability to carry on airborne droplets, any air you are expelling directly towards another person in close proximity can be considered dangerous to another person.
Peke Safety offers products that should be considered for the purposes of protecting yourself and others, our KN95 half-masks paired with a Face Shield and a Powercap active. Both solutions integrate a protective to ensure that your eyes are not a potential vector for infection, and our Powercap Active provides N98-levels of positive pressure filtration directing expelled air away from the direction the user is facing. It is critical to again stress that any PPE must be worn in accordance with social distancing guidelines and other cleanliness protocols to have a chance of being effective.
Can Positive Air Purifying Respirators and Half-masks including the Powercap Active Protect Others from Exposure if they have Ventilation Holes in the Bottom?
The Powercap Active filters contaminants out of incoming air at a much higher rate (N98) than a passive half-mask like an N95, with the additional benefit being that it forcefully mixes filtered air with gases expelled by the wearer and directs that exhaust back and downwards, away from those around you. As previously stated, the integrated face shield is similar to those worn by frontline workers in hospitals over their passive half-masks in order to direct airflow away from those they are facing. In addition, because it doesn’t require a tight fitment to the face, the wearer is less likely to adjust the mask constantly, reducing the risk of infection stemming from touching their nose, mouth, or eyes.
This makes the Powercap Active a more effective method of protection than the any disposable half-mask on the market. In this application.
Every single mask or positive pressure respirator on the market does expel some level of air you breathe out and there is no such thing as a mask that completely filters expelled air.
Ultimately, it is your decision on what kind of mask to wear and how much risk you want to take. There is no doubt that wearing a certified disposable mask or powered respirator will keep you far more protected than the fashionable masks you see all over the market.
-Stay Safe Out There