Activated Carbon Mask vs Surgical Mask
Wearing a face mask is very important and a must these days. Aside from covering the mouth and nose to protect you from hazardous airborne particles, it helps in keeping you from touching your faces and noses.
Touching an infected surface that someone sneezed on is one way to commonly get germs in your body since you can touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
This could contaminate your hands with any germs that might have attached themselves to the outside of the mask.
Choose the best mask and practice safe handling and wearing of it plus make it a habit to have good hand hygiene.
What’s an activated carbon mask?
An activated carbon mask can filter the air for harmful gases, odors, and droplets. This mask can come as a reusable cotton face mask with an activated carbon filter, surgical mask with additional activated carbon filtering and as N95, N99 and P masks with activated carbon filtering layer.
Activated carbon masks are cheaper to purchase but are expensive to use because they cannot be cleaned except for the washable ones which need replaceable filters.
The principle of filtration is applied as an active carbon filter layer is added to the mask that can now filter fine dust and adsorption odor. It is more absorbent than just an ordinary face masks. As it is 30 times more likely to filter harmful gases and liquids than normal masks.
It mainly has the function of preventing poison, deodorization, filtering bacteria and dust, which is good for the respiratory system.
What is a surgical mask?
Ordinary cotton face masks are cheap, have fun designs and popular especially with the young population, however, these masks are not filtered and tiny particles are capable to go directly into the respiratory tract then into the lungs. And it's easy to grow bacteria there and keep them warm.
Surgical masks are lightweight, comfortable, has a hydrophobic gas permeability that is strong and dependable, good filtering effect, and no irritation to the skin.
The recommended one is with a structure of a 3-layer that consists of the outer layer which is waterproof against droplet spray and usually colored side, middle layer that acts as a particle filter to block pathogens, and the inner layer that’s Water absorbent to absorb breathed out moisture. And some come with an additional layer of an activated carbon filter.
The stiff edge with a metal strip is on top so the mask can be molded to fit against the nose. People ordinarily wear face masks in South East Asian countries to protect themselves from smog and respiratory diseases, but these masks aren't designed to block tiny particles from the air but with an additional layer they can protect you.
A surgical mask's main purpose is to keep out the liquid of an infected person's sneeze or cough from entering your mouth or nose.
Wearing one can protect you from getting sick if you're in close contact with someone who is sick and it greatly helps to prevent you from spreading your illness to someone else.
Which one is better?
They both have their own advantages and functions. A washable or an N95 with an activated carbon filter will protect you at least 95% percent against airborne tiny particles and also against those harmful gases and pollution in the air. They conform to the face better and give a better seal.
On the other hand, a surgical mask with at least 4 layers including an activated carbon filter will also protect you both from harmful gases and pollution and airborne particles with a BFE filtration of 95%. These masks are all disposable and have a more relaxed fitting on the face.
The verdict will always be it’s better to purchase a mask with activated carbon on it regardless if it’s a washable, N95 or a surgical mask.
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