Earloop Masks

Masks

Selecting the correct facemask for a specific procedure is critical to your practice’s safety protocols. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) plays a crucial role in protecting your staff and your patients from the spread of potentially infectious diseases. Dental City offers a full selection of your favorite Level 1, 2 and 3 Masks.

What criteria should you use when choosing a face mask? The FDA, who oversees the sale and marketing of all surgical masks, recommends that manufacturers demonstrate mask performance in 4 areas:

Fluid Resistance:

  • Represents the masks resistance to penetration by synthetic blood under pressure (mmHG).
  • It measures the ability of a mask’s material construction to minimize fluids from traveling through the material and potentially coming into contact with the wearer.
  • The higher the fluid resistance (filtration) the better the protection.

BFE (Bacterial Filtration Efficiency):

  • Represents the percentage of aerosol particulates filtered at a size of 3 microns.
  • It is the measure of efficiency of the mask in filtering bacteria passing through it.

PFE (Sub-micron Particulate Filtration Efficiency):

  • Represents the percentage of submicron particulates filtered at 0.1 microns. The size of the particles filtered is critical.
  • The measure of the efficiency of the mask in filtering particles passing through it.
  • The size of the particles filtered is critical.

DELTA P (Differential Pressure):

  • Represents the pressure drop across the mask or resistance to air flow in mmH2O/cm2.
  • This determines breathing resistance.
  • It is the measure of efficiency of the mask in filtering bacteria passing through it.

Flame Spread:

  • Measures flame spread of the mask material. This is the ranking derived by laboratory standard test methodology of a material’s propensity to burn rapidly and spread flames.

The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) is referenced by the FDA as the required standard in the United States. According to ASTM Standard F2100-11, there are 3 different levels of protection.

ASTM F2100-11 Standards ASTM Level 1 ASTM Level 2 ASTM Level 3
Fluid Resistance, mmHg 80 120 160
BFE ≥95% ≥98% ≥98%
PFE, @ 0.1 micron ≥95% ≥98% ≥98%
Delta P, mm H@)/cm2 < 4.0 < 5.0 < 5.0
Flame Spread Class 1 Class 1 Class 1
Minimum Protection Ideal as a simple barrier for exams and short procedures that do not produce fluid, spray or aerosols.
Level 1 Ideal for procedures where low amounts of fluid, spray, and/or aerosols are produced.
Level 2 Ideal for procedures where low to moderate amounts of fluid, spray and/or aerosols are produced.
Level 3 Ideal for procedures where moderate to heavy amounts of fluid, spray and/or aerosols are produced.

The BFE and PFE are important criteria used to distinguish the three ASTM Level 1.