The COVID-19 virus has spread exponentially over the last several months bringing with it more and more measures to keep the population safe and contain the virus. It began with washing your hands often, then social distancing and finally quarantining. One of the latter measures to be implemented was the use of face masks. Now that the country is reopening businesses, schools and more, most places have made it mandatory to wear a mask. In fact, three-ply disposable face masks were once only used by doctors and healthcare providers. Now, they’re required by manufacturers, hospitality, travel, governments, federal agencies and more. Even the general public has begun seeking out these masks which has resulted in a nationwide shortage of medical grade masks for front line responders. Because of this, many foreign companies have transitioned into the production of masks in order to capitalize on the need for personal protective equipment (PPE). The problem is that most of these companies do not follow any regulations or protocols to ensure that the masks they create are actually effective and provide the wearer with protection. Given the nation’s current state with COVID-19, it is imperative that you know where your PPE is coming from and whether it is actually a reliable product.
Why Are Masks Recommended?
A growing amount of evidence has led experts to determine that wearing a proper face mask can help curb the spread of the coronavirus when combined with other preventive measures. This is because an infected person could be asymptomatic and unknowingly put other people at risk. If everyone wears a mask, there is less of a risk that infected people can spread the virus. The function of a mask is to create a barrier that blocks respiratory particles from traveling into the air after escaping your nose and mouth. Depending on the mask being worn, it might only serve to protect others by containing solely your respiratory particles or it might offer protection for you as well by blocking particles from entering your respiratory system.
Types of Masks & How They Work
How much protection do face masks offer? To answer that question, we must understand the types of masks most commonly found and their functions.
Fabric masks are a cheaper, homemade alternative to medical masks. While they can help trap droplets from escaping into the air or onto others when a wearer sneezes, coughs, or talks, they don’t offer much protection against smaller particles. The thinner the material is, the less effective it will also be. This is why bandanas and gaiters are often not allowed despite 2 layer fabric masks being accepted.
Surgical masks are masks that were mainly worn only in the healthcare industry but they have now become very common for the general public. They are disposable, loose fitting masks that are meant to protect the wearer’s nose and mouth from coming into contact with droplets, splashes, or sprays in the air. However, they are ineffective against smaller particles.
N95 & KN95 Respirators
N95 and KN95 respirators are masks that fit tightly around the nose and mouth of the wearer to create a seal. Respirators can block at least 95% of airborne particles and protect both the wearer from inhaling particles and the wearer from expelling particles into the air. These are the most effective masks but remain in short supply.
Low Quality & Counterfeit Products
Unfortunately, the growing demand for surgical masks, N95 respirators and KN95 respirators has led to a shortage of medical grade masks in the nation. This demand has in turn been met by products from overseas companies but, as stated above, many of these companies don’t abide by any regulations or implement quality control. However, the need for more masks has left desperate companies with no choice but to purchase these imported products. The result is a high number of ineffective and counterfeit products hitting the markets and making their way into hospitals and other organizations.
Merlola’s Commitment To PPE Quality
Unlike many other face mask providers, Merlola Industries is an American company that provides American-made personal protective equipment. All of our products are FDA compliant and quality tested to offer maximum protection. To ensure that our products meet these standards, we control the supply chain by manufacturing raw goods into finished products here in the USA. Our mission is simple, to bring face mask manufacturing back to America so that customers have the peace of mind and confidence of knowing where their PPE products come from, how they’re made, and that they’re of the highest quality to provide unparalleled protection. Contact us today to determine the best PPE option for you from a retailer you can trust.