Guide to buying masks and disposable items. On television, in newspapers and on the Internet they talk about the new “emergency” of the virus originating from China. Let’s clarify without alarmism but with criteria. How and when to protect ourselves from the coronavirus, which masks to buy and with which features. Disposable items are useful but must be known to use and choose.
What is coronavirus and where does it come from
Corona virus (CoV) is part of the family of viruses responsible for respiratory diseases and these range from normal cold to more serious and complex syndromes. The new strain, which initially spread from the city of Wuhan in the province of Hubei in China, is new and has never been studied. The major research centers in the world are mobilizing to find drugs and vaccines that can block or at least reduce the transmission speed and therefore exclude the pandemic.
Coronaviruses are called zoonotics, as they are transmitted between animals and people. The worrying part is that the virus has undergone a mutation (the causes are still to be defined) and therefore the transmission takes place from person to person. Numerous known coronaviruses circulate in animals that have not yet infected humans.
How to prevent Coronavirus infection (2019-nCoV) – WHO recommen
Being a virus that is spreading extremely fast and its existence was not known, there is currently no vaccine to prevent the 2019-nCoV infection. The best way not to get infected is therefore to protect yourself, both by avoiding the places where the virus is likely to be present and by using passive tools such as disposable buying masks. There are also simple daily actions that allow you to limit the possibility of contagion:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you’re sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or face mask, which will then be replaced.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
What masks to buy and how to read the codes.
As specified above, the purchase of a respiratory protective face mask reduces the possibility of contagion. However, you must purchase the correct product with the specific protection for viruses and pathogens, otherwise the use will be absolutely useless.
Below we explain what the codes mean and how you have to choose the suitable buying masks.
We have already abundantly described how to protect the respiratory tract and what PPE (personal protective equipment) exists on the market. Find our article on protection and regulations at this link.
DUST FILTERING FACIALS (EN 149)
Commonly called disposable protective masks or dust filtering face masks
The latter are tested and classified into three different categories based on filtering efficiency:
Class FFP1: protection against non-toxic solid and liquid aerosols (powders) in concentrations up to 4.5 times the threshold limit value.
Uses : Abrasions of paints and rust. Construction works with plaster, marble and concrete. Environmental sanitation. Grain processing.
Class FFP2: protection against solid and liquid aerosols (dusts) of low and medium harmfulness in concentrations up to 12 times the threshold limit value.
Uses: Sanding with wood, paints, fillers, and light metals. Machine lubrication, welding, oil and silicone nebulization. Foundries. Solvent distillation. Spray painting. Nebulization of pesticides.
Class FFP3: protection against solid and liquid aerosols (e.g. oil and water-based mists) highly toxic in concentrations up to 50 times the threshold limit value. This protection class filters out carcinogenic and radioactive harmful substances and pathogenic microorganisms such as viruses , bacteria and fungi.
Uses: Working on heavy metals with chromium, nickel and lead. Disposal of asbestos and toxic waste. Use of glass fibers. Pharmaceutical and petrochemical industries. This protection class offers the best possible barrier against viruses and pathogens.
The protection masks can be equipped with an exhalation valve that has the purpose of expelling the hot air thus reducing the heat and humidity inside the mask, this facilitates breathing and offers greater comfort to the user, also they can be equipped with activated carbon which help to absorb and eliminate bad odors.
Disposable and strictly personal filtering face pieces must be kept away from pollutants until they are used. Furthermore, the filtering face pieces must be used only for one work shift and must in any case be replaced immediately when they are damaged or visibly contaminated and if breathing becomes difficult due to the saturation of the filtering material.