While the current pandemic is still not completely under control, KF94 masks (Korea standard) are recommended to be used as an alternative to N95 (United States standard) masks for primary protection from the viral infections. In case of the unavailability of either N95 or KF94 face masks. It is advised that ASTM Level 3 mask (surgical grade) is also a good alternative. Just in case you are looking for the availability of 3M N95 respirators, we still see some 3M N95 masks in Stock on n95-facemasks.com by the time we write this article.
The number after the KF shows the percentage of particles that can be filtered by the face mask. KF is the Korean standard stands for “Korea Filter”. Masks from KF94 and KF99 will protect the respiratory organs from infection by blocking on average 94 and 99 percent of the particles from yellow dust and fine powder and swine flu virus.
Latest research studies have well proved the significant effectiveness of using face mask to control the spread of viral infection. In fact, some scientists strongly recommend the government to consider to launch the mandatory wearing of face masks in a crowdy area like public transportation.
Research shows that both KF94 or N95 masks have an excellent function in catching nasal infections from the virus particle, but are not effective if the face and the edges of the mask are not adhered to. Unfortunately, masks are not comfortable to wear for a long period of time. But still, we have to tolerate it a bit before we have enough effective vaccine for most of the populations.
Both KF94 or N95 masks need to conduct a Fit Test to ensure optimal protection. Masks are sometimes used not correctly, including lowering the mask to cover one’s mouth, and when the nose is still covered it’s uncomfortable to breathe.
The medical profession finds that it is quite common to see the public wearing a mask in the wrong way. So public education is also necessary to make N95 or KF94 masks an effective tool to control the Pandemic. Besides the incorrect wearing, it is worth noting that the mask filter layer is sensitive to moisture and should not be used for a long period of time. So frequent change of KF94 or N95 masks is recommended to ensure the effectiveness of the filtration.
KF94 or N95 masks make it difficult to inhale when used a long time. Even trained medical professionals find it difficult to use them for a whole day long. For this reason, some experts do suggest to consider wearing a surgical mask (ASTM level 3) which is easier to breathe for a long day of work.
Korea KF94 masks have proven for many years to have the effect to prevent droplet spread. So it is local to derive that KF94 can be used to control the current pandemic to some extent. Cotton masks have much lower protection than surgical masks from droplet infection, therefore cotton masks should only be considered when KF94, N95, or Surgical masks are not available. However, health officials recommend that when they have trouble breathing, pregnant women, infants, elderly and respiratory patients should avoid masking immediately.