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To our Health Experts a question on masks

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posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 09:55 AM
a question I have wondered about -- if you go to one site they tell you that nano masks are the very bests and another site tells you N95 or N100 are the best to have then you have the option of disposable masks or ones with filters that you buy to put in a permanent mask. And then there are all the different optionsof the N95 masks that are out there -- some with an additional filter etc.

Is there someone who could shed some light on this from a health career perspective? I was thinking that the disposable might be better because if you get germs on the ones with the filters how do you disinfect that portion that you don't throw away.

I would think you want to get one that has a nose clip so you can fit it down better -- and that brings up another question -- are these one size fits all or adjustable. And if men have beards or such does that effect it?

questions, questions, questions......

posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 10:24 AM
I've wondered these same things. The CDC says at least an N95, and I found the 3m kind that is disposable to be not too badly priced. Then I read about the nanomasks, and I plan to look into these and see if they are recommended by health depts. too...if they are, I think they would be the better buy in the long run.

posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 10:33 AM
I am not a health expert but when it comes to mask make sure you don't get a cheap old one. The old one's are full of different toxins that do more harm then good. An example are the Israeli gas mask that you see being sold all over the net. I also recommend you get a mask that lets you drink with out taking the mask off if you have to keep it on for long periods of time.

posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 10:41 AM
Ok...I went and Googled nanomask and found a FAQ page that I wasn't too impressed is the linklink

and here are the two FAQs I didn't like...

How often should I replace the NanoFilter?
In a hotzone, where H5N1, SARS, influenza, or any other deadly pathogen is known to be active,
you should replace the NanoFilters every 10-20 minutes. Do not remove the NanoMask while in the
hotzone. Leave the area to a secure place, then replace the NanoFilter. Otherwise, replace the
Nanofilter every 24 hours. When you do, wash your hands, and disinfect the NanoMask.

Why isn't NanoMask NIOSH certified?
The answer comes from the vice-president of marketing for Emergency Filtration, Mr. Pete Clark:
"We had to validate our technology against bacterial and viral challenges and NIOSH was not able
to provide biological validation. They currently test against a challenge of sodium chloride which
is not able to measure the effectiveness of the nano-particle enhancement. We are developing the
nanoparticle technology in conjunction with the U.S. Military and sodium chloride testing was not
sufficient. We are registered with NIOSH and still intend to submit the mask for certification but
had to validate the technology first. In any case, we are not striving to achieve the N-95 standard
because we do not want to produce a 95% efficient product such as N-95. Our goal is to produce a mask
that is as close to 100% efficient as possible and believe enhanced filters are the way to achieve

The filters last 10 to 20 MINUTES?! That's not good in my house...I have 4 kids...this would cost me waaaaaaaaaay more than I could ever hope to afford. Also...the answer as to why they aren't ok'd by NIOH I'm not sure about...anyone care to put this into a better light or is it as bad as it sounds? lol

[edit on 10/9/05 by maidenwolf]

posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 11:15 AM
Hey, I've recently been looking for masks as well. Does anyone know of a good site where I can purchace N95-compliant masks in semi-bulk? (20 or 50 of them.)

Oh, wait, this site seems to have them:

This place has them too:

[edit on 9-10-2005 by Toxic Fox]

posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 11:21 AM
Wow Maidenwolf -- I hadn't seen that estimate on time to replace those filters -- YIKES

UFObeliever I agree that you wouldn't want to buy the cheapest -- but then the question is one of whether or not some of the more expensive ones that seem to read the same as the cheaper ones are just a case of someone trying to get more money for the same product.

A part of me likes the idea of a permanent maks that you just buy filters for but then like I said what about disenfecting the plastic part of the mask -- can you do that at home and are you at more of a risk if you are using them and doing that.

posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 11:44 AM
I got Nanomasks from 2H distributers for several reasons. We live far away from a big city and then, we live far away from other houses. Our strategy is that once this thing hits (if it does) to wear the masks only if we need to go to the store or come into contact with other people, and we're planning on that being as infrequently as possible.

Emergency Filtration

The problem with the other masks is that they don't fit tightly on the face.

The unique design and enhanced facial seal allows the NanoMask to overcome the most critical failing of typical N-95 masks. An inability to effectively seal against the face and filter inhaled and exhaled breath that will typically follow the path of least resistance; around the sides of the mask.

maidenwolf, your link took me to

posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 12:09 PM
Sorry...the link is fixed had two http://'s LOL
anyway...a couple comments on the masks...

first...the nanomasks do sound good, but if you don't live alone and someone in your home gets it, can you afford to replace the filter every 15 minutes? I can't.

second...I am buying the 3M brand of the N95 or higher masks...they have a nose flange and should be fine...they also come in small sizes if you need them for a smaller person or child. I will go get a couple links to the cheapest places I found for them and post them...let's hope I get the links right this time (I'm new to this so just let me know if they don't work so I can fix them).

posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 12:17 PM
Here are two of the 3M brand..


and a newer kind that is NOT 3M brand

and here

[edit on 10/9/05 by maidenwolf]

posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 04:23 PM
I was wondering when this would crop up.

N95 masks should be fine and its what we use in the hopsital. N100 masks give slightly better protection but they are 4X the cost

N95 masks fit the guidelines as put foth by OSHA and the CDC. The 95 referes to the percentage filtered out. N99's give you 95 percent and the N-100's give 99.7

Recent CDC infection control guidance documents provide recommendations that health care workers protect themselves from diseases potentially spread through the air (such as SARS or Tuberculosis) by wearing a fit-tested respirator at least as protective as a NIOSH-approved N-95 respirator.

An N-95 respirator is one of nine types of disposable particulate respirators. Particulate respirators are also known as "air-purifying respirators" because they protect by filtering particles out of the air you breathe. Workers can wear any one of the particulate respirators for protection against diseases spread through the air- if they are NIOSH approved and if they have been properly fit-tested and maintained. NIOSH-approved disposable respirators are marked with the manufacturer's name, the part number (P/N), the protection provided by the filter (e.g. N-95), and "NIOSH."

To go to the store or evacuate during an outbreak these should be just fine. However, if they become moist, they loose effectiveness. Just breathing will eventualy dampen them (In a 12 hour shift we can go through many) plus as the become moist it gets harder to breathe through them. They also need to fit snugly. We actually have to go through a process at work where they put a hood over you and spray albuterol to make sure its a good fit aka Fit testing.

posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 04:35 PM
Since no one has tackled the problem of facial hair yet i thought i'd give it a shot. When I was a painter we had to wear mask's while in the booth and if you had a beard you had to have a full facial mask instead of the half masks that just cover the nose and mouth. For a mask to be effective it has to seal against the face and facial hair will not allow that.

If you're a guy with a beard go for the Darth Vader mask. Everyone else should be ok with just the half masks, as long as you insure they are properly fitted.


posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 04:38 PM
To be honest, if it is a full on outbreak, I would lose the ZZTop look. Unless you shell out the $$$ for a full on mask, I not sure the disposable N95 masks would work.

posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 05:03 PM
I'll tell ya, for $20 I'm really tempted to get twenty of those 3M masks. If I see any more spread of the H5N1 I'm going to immediately buy.

posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 05:06 PM
I'm not buying a whole lot of them until I try a few out first on myself and my family members to make sure they do fit ok. I knew about the dampness issue, but I figure that if it hits here in my own house, by the time we know it whoever is going to get it will...does that make sense? lol

I don't think it will happen this flu season, so I think I've got some time yet to check out the different things to make sure. I live almost to Canada, and our flu season isn't as long as it is in the south so I think it'll be a while yet for here. Or is that wrong?

posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 05:14 PM
Now Fred you should know by now if anyone is going to ask the weird question that others are thinking about but not asking for fear of looking less sharp than others it would be me
Heck I figure everyone knows I'm not the sharpest tack in the box and the ones who don't think that figure I am just plain weird so I don't have anything to lose by asking.

On the question of disposable vs the plastic masks that you just change the filters -- wouldn't the plastic stand a chance of getting virus on it that the next time you handled it you could have exposure. And would we be able to sanitize it enough in a home invironment. So should we stick to the disposable ones?


posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 05:20 PM
I'm not a health care professional, but I worked in a hospital last summer and I had to get fit tested for one of these masks. (I think it was an N95) Make sure before you buy them you get somebody who knows what they are doing to test you so you know the proper size to wear. When they tested me, it only took about 5 minutes, then they tell you what size you are and you're good to go. I'm not sure where you can go to be tested if you aren't a hospital employee, but if you have any associates in the medical field, ask them, or maybe just drop into a hospital and ask at the information desk or something.

posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 05:45 PM

Originally posted by justme1640
On the question of disposable vs the plastic masks that you just change the filters -- wouldn't the plastic stand a chance of getting virus on it that the next time you handled it you could have exposure.

Im not sure as I have never used anything but disposable ones. That being said, your scenario about recontaminating the filters is a valid one.

I have the disposable ones adn will stick with them as I have a nice supply. If it makes it into your house, several simple safety measures can be used to help contain things.

1) Handwashing handwashing handwashing
2) Isolate the sick people in one romm. If they have to come out to use the bathroom, put a mask on them. Even a plain paper mask is better than nothing but slapping a N95 on them is best.
3) If and thats an IF we have a large pandemic and there is a huge outbreak in your area, Wear your isolation stuff outside, we also have these TyveK duits we sometimes wear in the OR and strip down before you enter your house and wash immediatly before you do anything. Don't bring potential contaminated stuff into your home

Again the handwashing think is key, but the other measures help as well. But hopefully this is all knowledge that NONE of us will have to use.

posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 06:31 PM
Ah, handwashing. Of course. You'd be surprised how rarely some people wash their hands. Yikes.

Honestly, though, I'd be afraid of going out to Wal-Mart, mask or no mask, in a serious outbreak, just because that is a huge mixing area of people, some of whom might be sick. Best to get supplies well before hand.

posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 08:24 PM
I'm playing both sides of the street and will have both the N95 and nanomasks.

One more question, FredT?
I've seen info saying that athose filters have a shelf life. I think I've read it's a year or so. Do you think that is true, after a year they are less effective?

More on the nanomask and how it works:

Manufacturers and distributors of the so-called nanomask say that with every report of bird flu concerns, sales spike. The masks, specifically designed to keep out biological hazards, including the bird flu virus, started selling swiftly following the comments last week of U.N. health chief David Nabarro who said that a mutation of the virus affecting Asia could trigger new, widespread outbreaks.

And with every new report about the virus, people buy more masks.

Beplate claims his masks do better thanks to a coating that reacts to contaminants at the mask surface.
He says that electric charges within the nanoparticle coating and among a contaminant react, rendering
the contaminant inactive.

"It works kind of like a magnet," Beplate said, but declined to go into further detail, citing copyright

posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 08:45 PM
Good ideas...thank you. I will do that with the masks once I order a few...take them to the hopsital with family in tow and get them fitted before I order more.
I can't afford a lot of things, but basics are going to be a MUST so I can't take chances on those. I plan to make my entry a place that others cannot go beyond and where we have to take off our own things before entering...but there is no close bathroom, and I wonder about that. It will be just outer things and then straight to bathroom for a wash off.
I have a crawl space that I'm going to use as a sort of cellar for's perfect for that, so I have plenty of room for that and over the next many months will slowly be getting ready.
I'm not normally a person who worries about this sort of thing as I've said before, but over the last year I have had a very bad feeling about all of this like nothing ever I'm planning to be safe rather than sorry if I can.

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