Protective masks from the company Heros Hygiene

Protective masks have two different uses, one is to protect the wearer from inhaling harmful substances and the other is to prevent the escape of viruses and bacteria from the wearer himself. Protective masks or face masks are part of the personal protective equipment and are mostly used in the medical field or in the industry. In times of increased bacterial contamination, face masks are sometimes also worn by the public in public areas. In the Heros Hygiene Online Shop you can buy protective masks - in various designs at fair prices.

What is bacterial filtration efficiency?

Abbreviated as BFE (bacterial filtration efficiency), this value denotes the percentage of bacteria that are filtered out of the air. It is the general quality characteristic for protective masks and serves as a testing tool for the classification of different protection classes.

What protective masks are available?

The mouth-nose protection

This type of mask is often referred to as a hygiene mask and is primarily designed to protect the people around it. They prevent bacteria and viruses from entering the environment in the form of droplets from the wearer. Additionally, they also provide limited protection to the wearer themselves. Within these face masks there are different standardized protection classes:

- Type I hygiene masks (BFE ≥ 95%)
- Type II hygiene masks (BFE ≥ 98%)
- Type IIR hygiene masks (additional protection against liquids from outside)

Hygiene masks are easier to produce compared to the other mask types, which is reflected in their low price. In addition, they are characterized by a high level of wearing comfort and even after prolonged use they are still comfortable to wear.

FFP2 / FFP3

FFP masks or respirators protect the wearer from harmful substances in the air. In addition, they also protect people in the vicinity of the wearer. FFP stands for "filtering face piece", where the entire mask consists of a filtering material that fits very tightly to the wearer's face.

FFP masks with a valve can be used as work protection, as they prevent the inhalation of pollutants, aerosols and particles just like conventional respirators. However, they are less suitable in the medical field, as they do not filter the exhaled air and thus bacteria and viruses can be released.

Like the hygiene masks, the FFP masks are also divided into standardized protection classes:

- FFP1 (BFE ≥ 80%)
- FFP2 (BFE ≥ 94%)
- FFP3 (BFE ≥ 99%)

The advantage of FFP masks lies primarily in their circumferential protection. Due to the tight fit, all inhaled air is filtered, making them perfect for use in industry or medicine. The protection of the wearer and other persons leads to a very flexible and safe application.

KN95 protective masks

In addition to FFP2 / FFP3, masks with the designation KN95 are often offered in the trade. These are very similar to the FFP2 mask and have a filtering efficiency of at least 95%. The real difference is that they refer to a different standard and therefore have their own protection class division with its own designation. While FFP masks refer to the European standard EN149, KN95 masks refer to the Chinese standard GB2626-2006.

Fabric masks

Often referred to as community masks, textile masks are not based on any official standard and can be sold without a filter insert. Their effectiveness is significantly lower than that of hygienic masks and FFP masks, which is why we do not recommend their use in public areas. However, their advantage is reusability, which is not given with the other types of masks. Moreover, they can be designed very freely and even made by oneself, which makes it possible to adjust it to the personality of the wearer.

Can a protective mask be used more than once?

Hygiene masks, FFP masks as well as KN95 masks are single-use products, which is why they must be disposed of after each use. Hygiene masks should be replaced immediately with a new, dry mask as soon as they become saturated with respiratory air. Type IIR masks can be worn for up to 8h due to their increased moisture resistance.
The respirators are usually designed for a work shift of 8 hours. However, if they become saturated or damaged by breathing air, they should also be replaced immediately.
Regarding the use and wearing time, however, one should always refer to the product-specific information on the data sheet or packaging.

How to wear a protective mask correctly?

The correct use of a protective mask depends on the type of mask.
In general, however, the following steps should be followed:

1. Thoroughly clean or disinfect hands
2. Hold mask over mouth and nose
3. Pull ear loops over ears
4. If the mask does not fit snugly, the size of the elastic bands should be shortened with a button or clip.
5. Press the nose clip to the nose with both index fingers

When disposing of the mask, care should be taken to ensure that it is only touched at the earpieces. The mask should be disposed of in the trash immediately after removal. Hands should then be thoroughly cleaned or disinfected.

Certifications

Since protective masks are medical or occupational safety products, it is of utmost importance that quality can be assured. The products must undergo a CE conformity test. This is indicated by the CE mark on the packaging and sometimes even on the mask itself. The filtering properties of the mask types are then regulated by their own standards. For hygiene masks, EN14683 is the defining standard, while for FFP masks it is EN149. Textile masks, on the other hand, do not have a standard that evaluates their filtering performance.

Where should protective masks be worn?

Hygiene masks are mainly worn in clinics and medical practices when treating patients. However, since the Covid-19 pandemic, they have also been worn by the public in Switzerland. Typical places where hygiene masks must be worn because of Corona are:

- Public transportation
- Shops and stores
- At work in enclosed indoor spaces
- Publicly accessible facilities or businesses

Generally, children under the age of 12 are exempt from the mask requirement. Regulations on mandatory masks are continually reviewed and adjusted. For current regulations, you should refer to the FOPH regulations.

Respirators, on the other hand, should be worn primarily when dealing with persons who have contagious diseases. Combined with other protective equipment such as gloves, this can prevent infection. Likewise, FFP masks are often used in industry when processing materials. The fine dust from metals, wood or other materials can be harmful to health, which is why using an FFP mask makes sense.

Buy protective masks

Through our online store you can order hygiene masks, FFP masks, KN95 masks as well as textile masks. In our large assortment you will surely find the suitable product for every application. If you are unsure about the selection or have questions about the order, we will be happy to advise you by phone, mail or live chat.