What to know when buying a disposable face mask and what level of face mask should you buy as a facility manager or contract cleaner?

With growing concerns of another outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, it is vital that Australian’s are doing everything we can, including choosing the right face mask!

Whether you are a medical professional, office worker, facility or operations manager, in the hospitality industry, or you are a contract cleaner, it is important that you are practising safe infection prevention protocols.

Respiratory protection by using the appropriate type of face mask is essential for healthcare, front line workers and those who work within the commercial cleaning industry.

Face masks are intended to protect from airborne viruses and help stop the spread of infection. Fitted and worn correctly these face masks will filter out particles and protect the vulnerable from contamination or catching the virus.

What Type Of Face Masks Are There and What does each level mean?

Just like deciding what the best cleaning products are for your facility, it is important to do the same when considering what face mask is best for yourself or for your employees! So, here it is broken down for you.

Level 1 Disposable Face Masks:

What is a Level 1 face mask?
Level 1 face masks provide low barrier protection and are for general use. While they do have good filtration properties for a face mask, unlike the level 2 respirators, they do not fit as tightly and securely.

Which workplace environments is this face mask appropriate?
Level 1 face masks are normally for standard medical procedures and low-fluid cases. While they are cost-effective options, these masks can only resist 80 mm Hg to penetration by synthetic blood. In comparison to level 3 face masks which provide 160 mm Hg resistance.

This means that in terms of liquid particles and filtration, the level 3 face masks and even level 2 respiratory masks are better options for use in work environments and medical environments.

Level 2: P2 Disposable Face Masks

What is a Level 2 face mask?
Typically, level 2 face masks come in ratings which identify their effectiveness to filter out harmful particles. The disposable P2 and N95 face masks/respirators can filter extremely fine particles from the air to minimise exposure to smoke, poor air quality and respiratory diseases.

What is an example of a Level 2 Face mask?
A P2 Disposable Respirator is an example of a level 2 facemask. FFP2 Disposable Respirators are ideal for working environments in which harmful particles can be found in the breathing air in industries like cleaning, maintenance, construction or for medical professionals to protect themselves against liquid particles, fog, dust, smoke, bacteria and aerosols.

This Disposable level 2 folding mask meets the requirements of European Standard EN 149:2001 + A1:2009 and are available at Abco in a pack of 20. Each mask features a mould nose clip to the wearer’s nose shape to help reduce eyewear fogging and limit exposure.

• Colour: White
• Size: one size fits all
• Material: Non-woven
• Latex Free
• Foldable

These face masks are available at Abco in a pack of 10, use the link https://abconet.com.au/disposable-respirator-fold-p2-pk10

 

Another example of a Level 2 P2 Disposable Face Mask:

The P2 Disposable Respirators are effective in protection against harmful liquid particles, fog, dust, smoke, bacteria and aerosols and are ideal for industries in contract cleaning, maintenance, construction or for medical professionals to protect themselves against solid and non-volatile liquid particles.

This Disposable filtering half mask meets the requirements of European Standard EN 149:2001 + A1:2009 and protects against particles 7020GD FFP2 NR D and 7021GDV FFP2 NR D. The mould nose clip to the wearer’s nose shape to help reduce eyewear fogging and for a better seal and fit. The lightweight construction for added comfort that may increase wearer time and has two head straps to provide a comfortable and secure seal.

p2 face mask

• Colour: White
• Size: one size fits all
• Material: Non-woven
• Latex Free
• Foldable

These face masks are available at Abco in a pack of 10, use the link https://abconet.com.au/disposable-respirator-fold-p2-pk10

 

Which workplace environments are level 2 masks appropriate?
These masks are best used in protection for the prevention of spreading or contracting the Covid-19 virus, Tuberculosis, Measles or Chickenpox where minimal exposure to droplets are expected.
These masks are ideal for industries in cleaning, maintenance, construction and medical professionals.

Level 2 Disposable Face Masks: N95 Disposable Respirators

What are N95 Respirators?
These respirators are ideal for industries in cleaning, maintenance, construction and medical professionals. These masks are NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) approved and provide 95% filtration efficiency and provide reliable breathing protection.

For Covid-19, it is recommended for the N95 respirators to be used in the health care setting and are single-use items only.

With the N95 designed to reduce the likelihood of transmission of microorganisms that remain infections over time and distance.

P2 face mask

• Colour: White
• Size: one size fits all
• Material: non-woven
• Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 11.7 x 5.3 cm
• Item Weight: 268 g
• Latex Free
• Foldable
• NIOSH Approval number: TC-84A-5411

The N95 Respirators are available at Abco in packs of 10, use the link https://abconet.com.au/disposable-respirators-n95-pk10

 

Level 3 Disposable Face Masks:

What is a Level 3 face mask?
Level 3 face masks provide a higher level of splash protection and are often used in surgical procedure and trauma.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, it is these levels 2 and 3 surgical masks that are recommended in low to medium risk cases.

What is an example of a Level 3 Face mask?
The Level 3 Surgical Face Mask TGA is the ideal mask for protection against fine dust, smoke, bacteria, aerosols and pollen with 3 layers of filtration to purify the air covering the nose and mouth.

 

surgical mask

• Colour: Blue
• Size: one size fits all
• Material: 3-ply non-woven fabric
• Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 9.5 cm
• Fluid resistant
• Hypoallergenic
• >99% BFE

Find these masks in a pack of 50 at Abco using the link https://abconet.com.au/surgical-face-mask-tga-pk50

These face masks are suitable for industries in cleaning, facility maintenance and medical professionals. With its maximum barrier protection for any situation that has the potential for exposure to heavy levels of aerosols, sprays and fluids.

“They can reduce transmission by up to two-thirds. That’s a really important additional measure and we are trying to do absolutely everything in Victoria to drive transmission down.” – Professor Brett Sutton, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer.

What does a TGA approved mask mean?
TGA or Therapeutic Goods Administration is a Commonwealth Government agency that regulates medical devices and medicines. The TGA is responsible for regulating the supply, import, export, manufacturing and advertising of therapeutic goods. See more about the importance of PPE (personal protective equipment) and disposable facemasks recommended by the TGA here: https://www.tga.gov.au/advice-surgical-masks-and-gowns-during-covid-19

When To Use You Mask?

If you are a contract cleaner and are conducting an office cleaning or a restaurant cleaning, it is vital that for your safety when using cleaning chemicals you wear the appropriate face masks.
Along with contract cleaning companies, facility managers need to be aware of the appropriate PPE that suits your environment and prevents cross-contamination and the spread of illness.

How To Use Your Mask Appropriately

As the NSW Health Department explains, there is a correct way to ensure your P2/N95 mask is fitted accurately:
• Ensure glasses and hats are removed and hair is tied back so the straps of your mask doesn’t become tangled.
• Put on the mask with the nose piece fitted on the top, then compress the mask to the face to ensure it is sealed across the bridge of the nose.
• Compress the mask across the cheeks and face
• Check the seal by gently inhaling. Readjust if there are any air leaks or discomfort.

The Do’s and Dont’s of Face Masks

According to the Clinical Excellence Commission, there are a few protocols to follow during Covid-19 in regard to the proper application of PPE.

Do:
• Change your mask if it is moist
• Change your mask if it is sprayed or splashed on
• If you touch the mask or remove it, immediately perform hand hygiene and discard it and replace with a new one

Don’t:
• Touch your mask or face
• Pull your mask below your nose or chin
• Leave it hanging around your neck
• Touch your face

If worn correctly these masks will protect from germs and contaminants, however, they are not intended to be used more than once. Safe removal and disposal of used respirators are essential to the correct use and handling, including the washing of your hands after use.

Along with utilising the right cleaning equipment and disinfection chemicals, masks should be used in conjunction to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Australia.

You can find eco-friendly and highly effective disinfectants along with a range of cleaning equipment at Abco that are suitable for any office cleaning service or restaurant cleaning service.

Abco Products, which has branches in Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Sydney, can assist you with the procurement of disposable face masks (including P2, N95 or TGA approved face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE). For further information and assistance, please call us on 1800 177 399.

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