I just bought these high quality surgical masks from Taiwan.
I’ve heard scary stuff about poorly made masks that don’t do a good job protecting people. I’ve worn these KN95 masks for some time (also FDA approved) and found them very comfortable, but I think masks are like clothing: they fit different people differently.
Some in my family prefer the surgical style masks (the mostly blue disposable ones you see frequently). So last night, I made it my mission to find a high quality, FDA approved surgical mask.
I found out that a good surgical mask should be ASTM-rated. This is an international standard of how the mask performs:
- Level 1: low barrier protection. General use for short procedures and exams that don’t involve aerosols, spray or fluids
- Level 2: moderate barrier protection. For low to moderate levels of aerosols, spray and/or fluids
- Level 3: maximum barrier protection. For heavy levels of aerosols, spray and/or fluids
Every mask I’ve ever seen in normal stores has no ASTM rating at all, which means they’re less protective. The masks I bought are ASTM Level 1.
The FDA-approved higher level masks I saw appeared to be available in very large lots designed for hospitals. Since no one in my family works in the medical field, I am thinking an ASTM Level 1 mask should suffice. If you guys know of a Level 3 mask available in smaller quantities, please leave that info in the comments.
The FDA publishes lists of approved surgical masks and respirators (like the KN95 I wear). You can see the masks I bought on that list below. If you match the model number on the FDA list to the model number on the Mocacare website, you’ll see it’s an exact match.
Consider these masks as a good alternative to a KN95 or to surgical masks that came from who-knows-where.