We are all living in the age of infectious diseases and air-borne smog produced through climatic changes happening around the world. Many studies have shown that masks and respirators are the only possible solution to escape from them. The infections are so rapidly transferable that you can get very sick and endanger the lives of your family, friends, and other loved ones. However, advancements in medical research have brought different alternatives to resist the spread of infections that may be passed by being near another person. These alternatives are surgical face masks and specialized respirator masks. Some people also use cloth masks to trap the respiratory droplets emitted through sneezing or coughing. But in this article, we will discuss only Health Canada-approved masks.

Masks and respirators come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They all have a specific use in specific situations. The web page of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) contains the following information:

  1. Facial Masks
  2. Respirators Masks

              (i) KN95 Mask 

              (ii) N95 Mask

Facial Masks

These masks are also known as disposable masks, and may also be referred to as surgical masks. They’re designed to keep a person safe from viruses that may be present in droplets sprayed into the air after a cough or a sneeze. When a person uses a facial mask they are protected from big particles in the atmosphere as they are filtered out by the mask.

Facial masks are usually not capable of filtering the smaller particles and, therefore, the health experts advise using advanced, high-quality, and multi-layered masks which can stop germs from entering or leaking from an unhealthy person carrying a specific disease.

Respirator Masks 

Respirator masks are a type of respiratory protection that creates a seal, fitting tight around the mouth and nose of the wearer, to minimize air loss. These respirator masks give more protection than an ordinary facial mask, and depending on their efficiency to filter out at least 95 % pathogens and 0.3-micron tiny particles, these masks are called N95 or K95 masks. These are the two types of respirator masks that are used around the world.  

Difference Between N95 Mask and KN95 Mask 

The N95 mask and the KN95 mask are two different types of respirator masks that have the capacity to trap 95% of tiny particles present in the air. The names of these masks usually make no difference but it depends on the specialty of the mask. But how do we differentiate between these two masks?

N95 Is the U.S. Standard, and the KN95 is the China standard

The key distinction is in the manner in which the masks are verified through big authorities. “In general,” explains Sean Kelly, founder of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) of America in New Jersey, “N95 is the U.S. standard, and the KN95 is the China standard.” As a result, although KN95 masks offer most of the same preventative qualities as N95 masks, only N95 masks are certified for healthcare usage in the United States.

  1. KN95 Masks Are More Breathable 

Pressure drops while breathing are felt slightly more intensely with N95 masks. In contrast, it is assumed that KN95 masks are a little more breathable. Don’t panic though, as even though breathing via a mask can be difficult at times, dying from oxygen deprivation is extremely unlikely when using one.

  1. Fittest on People 

The Chinese government has a separate mask fit test on living people that requires a maximum 8 percent leakage rate to be certified as a KN95 mask. On the other hand, companies are not required to conduct fit tests during the N95 mask manufacturing process. However, that does not mean that those fit tests are not beneficial. Many hospitals and businesses demand that their employees be fit-tested. However, these are the company-specific standards, not the criteria of the US NIOSH mask regulations.

So far we have looked at the general differences between surgical masks and respirators, and N95 masks and KN95 masks. Now, let’s look at how different countries regulate the use of these masks. For example, the recent unstoppable spread of flu, cold, and fever has put people in a  panic. There was a shortage of N95 and KN95 masks. Similarly, taking advantage of the situation, many companies started making sub-standard, low-quality, and less efficient medical masks in Canada. Therefore, Health Canada had to approve a list of regulations and introduce a certification for the manufacturing of certain medical masks in Canada intended for emergency uses.

N95 and KN95 masks are evaluated, tested, and certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the United States. Respirators that are approved must comply with the following requirements:

  1. Meet basic performance standards, such as:
    1. filter efficiency testing
    2. resistance to breathing
  2. An approval number stamped on the mask as in TC-84A-####n

The NIOSH certification is accepted as a suitable level of excellence for N95 medical masks by Health Canada, Canada’s medical device regulator. In October 2020, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Group announced a certification program as an alternative to NIOSH for Canadian FFR makers. During this program, many low-quality and second-rate medical masks were banned by Health Canada.

The purpose of these masks is to limit the danger of inhaling harmful particles and pollutants from the air. They are made in a variety of designs and styles. If you are looking for Health Canada-approved masks, and are conscious about buying fake medical masks then you have come to the right place because Penguin Health sells high-quality medical masks in Canada. We sell only Health Canada-approved masks that have the stamped code, high filter efficiency, and meet all basic standards.

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