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What You Need To Know About Medical Surgical Masks

May. 31, 2021

In accordance with a new public mandate in Germany, people must wear N95 or surgical masks when shopping in grocery stores or using public transportation. The same measure has been taken in France, where citizens are encouraged to replace their hand-sewn masks with disposable surgical masks. Next, the medical surgical masks supplier will share the following content with you.


But should you really throw away your hand-made mask in favor of a medical-grade device?

We perused the latest medical research to evaluate some of the most popular masks. From silk scarves to neck straps, from cloth masks to KN95, these are the safest masks to use to protect yourself from COVID-19 and its newer models.


Single-use surgical masks are worn by doctors, nurses and other medical professionals for extended periods of time and have been a pillar of public health for at least the past six decades.

Medical Surgical Masks

 Medical Surgical Masks

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a surgical mask is defined as "a loose, single-use device that forms a barrier between the wearer's mouth and nose and between potential contaminants in the surrounding environment." These masks are commonly referred to as "face masks" but are actually subject to specific regulations that are not available for homemade cloth masks.


The thickness of surgical masks varies 

For example, some are three layers while others are four - which can affect their ability to protect you from splashes, sprays, large particle droplets or splashes that may contain viruses or bacteria.

The unsung heroes of the surgical mask are the metal pins that tuck into the seams of the nose bridge. You can manipulate the thin wire to get the best seal on your nose and cheeks - a feature that is missing from most cloth masks, although some DIY craftsmen have cleverly incorporated it.


But because they fit your face relatively loosely, these masks are still ineffective at stopping the very small particles in the air that can be spread by coughing or sneezing. That's why some researchers have suggested using a double mask to improve safety.

In an exhaustive review of various masks published last September in the journal Science Advances, researchers at Duke University found that surgical masks were the second best choice for protection, behind the N95 mask, which is considered the gold standard.

What is the Medical Definition of a Face Mask?

A face mask is a device, with or without a face shield, that covers the user’s nose and mouth and may or may not meet fluid barrier or filtration efficiency levels. It includes cloth face coverings as a subset. It may be for single or multiple uses, and if for multiple uses it may be laundered or cleaned. 

What is the Definition of a Surgical Mask?

Surgical masks are masks that cover the user’s nose and mouth and provide a physical barrier to fluids and particulate materials and are regulated under 21 CFR 878.4040 as class II devices requiring premarket notification.

What is the Definition of a Medical Mask?

All “medical masks” will carry a classification from the American Society of Testing and Materials (ATSM). ASTM face masks standards fall within three categories ASTM Level 1, ASTM Level 2, and ASTM Level 3. The most important difference between the levels in the degree of protection against liquid splashes or higher pressure liquid. ASTM Level three masks offer the greatest amount of protection from liquid penetration while also have equal or better particle and bacterial blocking material than lower levels.

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