Tuesday, 24 March 2020

N95 Respirator Masks for sale. (UK readers only)

As everyone is finding this current nasty bug is rather easy to catch and not very nice to suffer from. While our goverment's current advice about not needing a mask is fine and well, it assumes you can keep 2m/6ft from everyone, the UK is not built on that scale so the chances are you'll still be up close and personal with someone no matter what you do. 

In close quarters the chance of infection raises significantly (I was in Heathrow T3 for 3 hours the other night dropping my partner off, that was scary watching the passengers for another airline all bunched up for hours with not a mask between them). While no mask can offer full protection, wearing a mask can prevent face touching and offer some resistance against fluid spray from other people. However masks come in many grades and most of them are no use at all, as this handy image below shows... 


At a minimum any mask needs to be FFP2 or N95 rated, anything below that will offer next to nothing in blocking the particals. If you can source them FFP3 or N99's are nice but currently sell for the same price as a 2nd hand BMW.
 
From the CDC:
CDC Frequently Asked Questions about Personal Protective Equipment
  • What makes N95 respirators different from facemasks (sometimes called a surgical mask)?
    • READ: Understanding the difference between masks.pdf
    • N95 respirators reduce the wearer’s exposure to airborne particles, from small particle aerosols to large droplets. N95 respirators are tight-fitting respirators that filter out at least 95% of particles in the air, including large and small particles.
    • Not everyone is able to wear a respirator due to medical conditions that may be made worse when breathing through a respirator. Before using a respirator or getting fit-tested, workers must have a medical evaluation to make sure that they are able to wear a respirator safely.
    • Achieving an adequate seal to the face is essential. United States regulations require that workers undergo an annual fit test and conduct a user seal check each time the respirator is used. Workers must pass a fit test to confirm a proper seal before using a respirator in the workplace.
    • When properly fitted and worn, minimal leakage occurs around edges of the respirator when the user inhales. This means almost all of the air is directed through the filter media.
    • Unlike NIOSH-approved N95s, facemasks are loose-fitting and provide only barrier protection against droplets, including large respiratory particles. No fit testing or seal check is necessary with facemasks. Most facemasks do not effectively filter small particles from the air and do not prevent leakage around the edge of the mask when the user inhales.
    • The role of facemasks is for patient source control, to prevent contamination of the surrounding area when a person coughs or sneezes.  Patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should wear a facemask until they are isolated in a hospital or at home. The patient does not need to wear a facemask while isolated.
Deciding to try and do our bit I started to import some N95 respirator masks to sell on eBay and Amazon (at a sensible price) However, they blocked people making listings due to price gouging and that is only right and proper. However, I was left with a load of maks and no outlet, so until I can list elsewhere I have them for sale here on my own site.




April 2nd Update: We now have an online shop, click the image below to be taken to our online store. Fully SSL encrypted, Secure PayPal payments (no account required) and new products including Face Shields. 



So unless you happen to have a Dustin Hoffman Outbreak style suit and his magic juice....


...Stay safe as best you can.





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