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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic since 2005; Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic Discussion Forum.

MASKS

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 17 2006 at 8:57pm

This is a very good article..

Simple Respiratory Mask

Virginia M. Dato,*Comments David Hostler,* and Michael E. Hahn*
*University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Suggested citation for this article


To the Editor: The US Department of Labor recommends air-purifying respirators (e.g., N95, N99, or N100) as part of a comprehensive respiratory protection program for workers directly involved with avian influenza–infected birds or patients (1). N95 respirators have 2 advantages over simple cloth or surgical masks; they are >95% efficient at filtering 0.3-μm particles (smaller than the 5-μm size of large droplets—created during talking, coughing, and sneezing—which usually transmit influenza) and are fit tested to ensure that infectious droplets and particles do not leak around the mask (2–4). Even if N95 filtration is unnecessary for avian influenza, N95 fit offers advantages over a loose-fitting surgical mask by eliminating leakage around the mask.

The World Health Organization recommends protective equipment including masks (if they not available, a cloth to cover the mouth is recommended) for persons who must handle dead or ill chickens in regions affected by H5N1 (5). Quality commercial masks are not always accessible, but anecdotal evidence has showed that handmade masks of cotton gauze were protective in military barracks and in healthcare workers during the Manchurian epidemic (6,7). A simple, locally made, washable mask may be a solution if commercial masks are not available. We describe the test results of 1 handmade, reusable, cotton mask.

Figure
Figure.

Click to view enlarged image

Figure. Prototype mask. A) Side view, B) Face side. This mask consisted of 1 outer layer (37 cm × 72 cm) rolled and cut as in panel B...

For material, we choose heavyweight T-shirts similar to the 2-ply battle dress uniform T-shirts used for protective masks against ricin and saxitoxin in mouse experiments (8). Designs and T-shirts were initially screened with a short version of a qualitative Bitrex fit test (9) (Allegro Industries, Garden Grove, CA, USA). The best were tested by using a standard quantitative fit test, the Portacount Plus Respirator Fit Tester with N95-Companion (TSI, Shoreview, MN, USA) (10). Poor results from the initial quantitative fit testing on early prototypes resulted in the addition of 4 layers of material to the simplest mask design. This mask is referred to as the prototype mask (Figure).

A Hanes Heavyweight 100% preshrunk cotton T-shirt (made in Honduras) (http://www.hanesprintables.com/Globals/Faq.aspx) was boiled for 10 minutes and air-dried to maximize shrinkage and sterilize the material in a manner available in developing countries. A scissor, marker, and ruler were used to cut out 1 outer layer (≈37 × 72 cm) and 8 inner layers (<18 cm2). The mask was assembled and fitted as shown in the Figure.

A fit factor is the number generated during quantitative fit testing by simulating workplace activities (a series of exercises, each 1 minute in duration). The Portacount Plus Respirator Fit Tester with N95-Companion used for the test is an ambient aerosol instrument that measures aerosol concentration outside and inside the prototype mask. The challenge agent used is the ambient microscopic dust and other aerosols that are present in the air.

A commercially available N95 respirator requires a fit factor of 100 to be considered adequate in the workplace. The prototype mask achieved a fit factor of 67 for 1 author with a Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) panel face size of 4, a common size. Although insufficient for the workplace, this mask offered substantial protection from the challenge aerosol and showed good fit with minimal leakage. The other 2 authors with LANL panel face size 10, the largest size, achieved fit factors of 13 and 17 by making the prototype mask inner layers slightly larger (22 cm2).

We do not advocate use of this respirator in place of a properly fitted commercial respirator. Although subjectively we did not find the work of breathing required with the prototype mask to be different from that required with a standard N95 filtering facepiece, persons with respiratory compromise of any type should not use this mask. While testers wore the mask for an hour without difficulty, we cannot comment on its utility during strenuous work or adverse environmental conditions.

We showed that a hand-fashioned mask can provide a good fit and a measurable level of protection from a challenge aerosol. Problems remain. When made by naive users, this mask may be less effective because of variations in material, assembly, facial structure, cultural practices, and handling. No easy, definitive, and affordable test can demonstrate effectiveness before each use. Wearers may find the mask uncomfortable.

We encourage innovation to improve respiratory protection options. Future studies must be conducted to determine levels of protection achieved when naive users, following instructions, produce a similar mask from identical or similar raw materials. Research is needed to determine the minimal level of protection needed when resources are not available for N95 air-purifying respirators since the pandemic threat from H5N1 and other possible influenza strains will exist for the foreseeable future.

References

  1. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Guidance for protecting workers against avian flu. [cited 2005 Oct 23]. Available from http://www.osha.gov/dsg/guidance/avian-flu.html
  2. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. 42 CFR Part 84 Respiratory protective devices. 1995 [cited 2005 Oct 23]. Available from http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/pt84abs2.html
  3. Garner, JS. Guideline for isolation precautions in hospitals. The Hospital Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 1996;17:53–80.
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Laboratory performance evaluation of N95 filtering facepiece respirators, 1996. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1998.47:1045–9.
  5. World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific. Advice for people living in areas affected by bird flu or avian influenza. 2004 Nov 8 [cited 2005 Oct 22]. Available from http://www.wpro.who.int/NR/rdonlyres/04FA6993-8CD1-
    4B72-ACB9-EB0EBD3D0CB1/0/Advice10022004rev08112004.pdf
  6. Capps JA. Measures for the prevention and control of respiratory infections in military camps. JAMA. 1918;71:448–50.
  7. Kool, JL. Risk of person-to-person transmission of pneumonic plague. Clin Infect Dis. 2005;40:1166–72.
  8. Darling RG. Biological warfare and bioterrorism. Slides 47 and 48. [cited 2006 Mar 19]. Available from http://www.regionsem.org/~trjoing/papers/123456/clr/Slides%20with
    %20Notes/Biological%20Warfare%20&%20Bioterrorism.pdf
  9. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Fit testing procedures (mandatory)–1910.134 App A. [cited 2006 Jan 21]. Available from http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=
    STANDARDS&p_id=9780&p_text_version=FALSE#Appendix%20A
  10. TSI incorporated. How to quantitatively fit test filtering-face piece respirators using a TSI Portacount Plus and N95-Companion (ITI-054) c2006. [cited 2006 Jan 21]. Available from http://www.tsi.com/AppNotes/appnotes.aspx?Pid=33&lid=445&file=iti_054

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 25 2006 at 11:56am
I have purchased some nano masks for use if this gets really bad, they are saturated with a virucide that works for 48 hours. I am hoping not to be out and about in public places with people who may be sick, but if I have to this seems prudent. They weren't cheap, 5 masks with 2 replacement filters were $50.00. I am not planning on using them except in that instance. I also have N100s for if I just go out in the neighborhood or like. I also purchased some plain surgical masks (got these first) when I was broke because I figured something would be better than nothing. Jo
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AnitaRNpulmo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 25 2006 at 12:07pm
Post today on icna.co.uk forum:

"We are having real problems here. The new TB guidance states that if you are caring for a patient with suspected or proven MRD TB whilst they are considered infectious or conducting aerosol generating procedures on patients with sensative TB then staff should wear an FFP3 respirator. This is also the case for staff conducting aerosol generating procedures on patients with pandemic influenza. The PPE regs (updated 2002) state that staff should be fit tested.
We contacted 3M and they informed us that the fit testing should consist of the hood with a solution of either Bitrix or Saccharin. We undertook training in the fit testing procedure taking extreme care with facial seals on a variety of different staff with different shaped faces and had a very high fail rate (of 15 tested only 1 passed!) We recalled the company who returned to fit test a number of staff and after 3 hours managed to pass 3 different staff with 3 different masks.
Since then we contacted Mike Clayton from the Health & Safety Executive Laboratory in Buxton who suggested that he had experinces of significant failure rates and he would be interested in hearing of experiences of fit testing currently being undertaken in the health service. We have also been contacted by a Dr Ben Killingsley from the DOH who is laeding on respiratory protection and is also interested in experiences from the shop floor.
We have since abandoned fit testing until we get advice from either the DOH or HSE. This is because we do not wish staff to loose faith in what we believe to be a good product if it is the actual fit testing procedure itself that is the problem Also it is hugely time consuming and costly to fit test several different types of masks. I am aware of another hospital (a large London Trust) that has also abandoned fit testing for the same reasons and is instead training staff in donning and removal of masks until they hear otherwise from the powers that be."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2006 at 6:38pm
I purchased N95 masks at Lowe's they are 20/19.95.  They have alot of them.  I also bought the "Cheap" ones from a local dollar store 10/1.00 for less serious needs,or for those who have none.  i would strongly suggest getting to your local hardware stores and getting them soon...word travels fast.Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2006 at 9:37pm
This was released yesterday from the makers of the Nanomask. I bought these for my family.
 
Emergency Filtration Products Reports Successful Test Results Against H9N2 Avian Influenza Strain
2:00 PM EDT May 25, 2006

Emergency Filtration Products Inc. (EFP) (OTCBB: EMFP) today reported that it had received results from an established, BSL-3 (Bio - Safety Level 3) independent testing laboratory that a custom-engineered nanomaterial formulation, licensed to EFP, completely inactivated the H9N2 strain of avian influenza within one minute. The Virucidal Efficacy Test involved a titer of virus with a concentration greater than 6 logs.

"The virus tested was of a higher concentration than typically used in this type of challenge," said Douglas K. Beplate, president and CEO, EFP. "An expanded and ongoing testing program of this formulation, and possibly of additional custom-engineered nanomaterials, will be conducted against H9N2 and other pathogens in the coming months."

About Emergency Filtration Products

EFP is an air filtration products manufacturer whose patented 2H Technology(TM) filter system has produced filtration efficiencies of "greater than 99.99%" at a particulate size of 0.027 microns. Its initial products were developed for the medical market: the Vapor Isolation Valve(TM) and RespAide(R) CPR Isolation Mask used for resuscitation of respiratory/cardiac arrest cases; and the 2H Breathing Circuit Filter for ventilators, respirators and anesthesia circuitry. Each has received FDA approval. The company also markets an Automated External Defibrillator Prep Kit featuring RespAide; and the NanoMask(R), a nanotechnology enhanced environmental mask. In addition to filtration products, the company supplies Superstat(R), a modified hemostatic collagen, to the U.S. military for surgery and extreme wound care.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2006 at 9:39pm
Bird Flu Nano-Masks 

Talk of a possible bird flu outbreak has many Southern Nevadans taking action. Protective masks are flying off the shelves and a version produced by local company could become one of the hottest.

These Henderson-made products are nano-masks and the manufacturer says they can help protect you from the bird flu and other viruses. Doug Beplate says it is a scientific break-through -- a way to help safeguard you and your family from dangerous bacteria and life-threatening viruses such as the Avian flu.

Beplate started Emergency Filtration Products ten years ago to help the military and the medical industry. "This is really our first effort with this mask to take something to the general public," he says.

It's called the nano-mask and its protection cannot be seen by the naked eye. Doug explains, "The nano particles would be coated on the outside of the filter. They penetrate the cell wall of bacteria and viruses and they stop the growth then they kill them." The filters are sprayed with the nano-particles.

The new facility opens Monday and by then, they hope to make more than 7 million filters. Doug says, "I think anytime you do something in a preventative way it is not a bad thing."

Beplate says the masks were not made with the bird-flu in mind but he is happy his company can help reduce the risk.

The masks only help protect you. Germs can be transferred if you touch your eyes or your face. The nano-masks cost anywhere from $10 - $15.

Contact Reporter Lindsay Patterson

 

http://www.klas-tv.com/Global/story.asp?S=4108743

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gilmor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 27 2006 at 10:37pm
No approval from NIOSH????
 
If not, DO NOT!!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote redcloud Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 27 2006 at 10:49pm
Diane,

Are these masks "one size fits all?" I can't seem to find anything about sizing and such.

The blue color will go well with my cyanosis, if and when.

Red
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 27 2006 at 11:00pm
So,we have to be fashinable too????  I wonder just who is going to make alot of money on these?  I think I will stick with the tried and true,not some "fashionable" thing.  What's next personalized.....Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chickenhawk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 27 2006 at 11:27pm
I've been wondering if you could put an N95 mask in a microwave to kill any virus on it (assuming that you have power to run the microwave)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote redcloud Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 28 2006 at 1:22am
Seriously, are these just one size?

chickenhawk, you could try it on a piece of paper first.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chickenhawk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 28 2006 at 10:29am
I just microwaved a sheet of paper for 2 minutes
It got warm but not too hot to handle
imagination is more important than knowledge - albert einstein
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote redcloud Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 28 2006 at 11:39am
Originally posted by chickenhawk chickenhawk wrote:

I just microwaved a sheet of paper for 2 minutes
It got warm but not too hot to handle

But is that enough to kill viruses? How would you know? Microwaves vary in intensity from machine to machine.

It's a great idea, but needs to be verifiable in its effects.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chickenhawk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 28 2006 at 12:00pm
that was my question directed at people that know more than me - will it work?
imagination is more important than knowledge - albert einstein
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote redcloud Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 28 2006 at 12:07pm
And, if so, is it working by heat alone, or do microwaves themselves disrupt the virus?

Now I have to know. If you find out anything, please share, as will I.

Red

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chickenhawk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 28 2006 at 12:28pm
Microwave ovens produce electromagnetic radiation of exactly the right wavelength to excite water molecules. When water molecules become excited, they heat up. Since most of our food contains a fair amount of water, we can heat up our food by selectively heating up the water inside the food.
-
- I can't determine if there is are water molecules in a virus
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AnitaRNpulmo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 30 2006 at 4:00pm
1)microwave : useless for killing viruses and bacteries; heat can damage them, but not a safe way
2) the nanomasks are designed after a well known pattern for coarse dust masks (low filtering ability - Black and Decker and other brands), and this pattern is from the French mask "Detourbe" designed during  WWW 1 as one of the first "gasmask".
3) the "home made cloth mask"  some of you spoke of, when industrial models are not available, is after the first French "Tampon P 2" WW1 design ...
Have the pics of all this if you have some doubt ...
Anita
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote redcloud Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 30 2006 at 5:17pm
Anita,

Do you know if the Nano is "one size fits all?"

I can't seem to find any sizing info on their website.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ozjohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 05 2006 at 4:50pm
I tried an experiment yesterday.
 
I have only the standard surgical masks that you see in the movies etc.
 
I only have 300 of them for the whole family and I wondered about re-using these even though it is not recommended by the 'experts'.  I have a few mist spray bottles and some are filled with bleach, and others with Methylated Spirit (95% alcohol) .   I took a mask and layed it on the bench wth the tapes uppermost over the mask and sprayed about 4 squirts of the Methylated Spirits all over it.
 
It dried out in a few seconds/minutes and was as good as new afterwards.
 
Seems good enough for me.
 
 
OJ
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3M's N95 Mask Types:
 

3M 8000 Particulate Respirator N95 3M 8000 N95 particulate respirator for light duty applications. May be used for particles associated with sweeping, sanding, dusting and certain other substances. Box/30

3M 8210 N95 Particulate Respirator The 3M 8210 features a padded noseguard for long lasting comfort. Its lightweight and double strap design will give protection against most dusts, pollens, and grasses. 20 masks per box.

3M 8214 N95 Particulate Respirator w/Exhalation Valve and Face Seal3M™ recommended for welding stainless steel, aluminum, galvanized steel, and other applications where low level ozone and nuisance organic vapors may be present.Available Individually

3M 8511 N95 Particulate Respirator w/Exhalation Valve"The 3M™ 8511 Particulate Respirator is uniquely designed to help provide comfortable, reliable worker protection. It is ideally suited for work settings that involve heat, humidity or long periods of wear." Box of 10 masks. 3M is currently allocating this item. Ships by the end of June.

3M 9211 N95 Disposable Particulate RespiratorThe 3M 9211 disposable particulate respirator is a breakthrough in comfort and convenience. The three-panel low profile design conforms to a wide variety of face sizes allowing the adjustable noseclip to provide a custom fit and secure seal. The Cool Flow Exhalation Valve allows efficient operation in both hot and humid locations for all day comfort. Box of 10 masks.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AnitaRNpulmo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 28 2006 at 4:16am
I have uploaded new pages to my blog, but lot is yet to be done (other pages,  links, commentaries ...)Regards
Anita RN pulm nurse
Avian Flu Personal Protection



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote macrimmons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 03 2006 at 4:33am
It's July 3 2006. I would like to order some children's masks N95. Three companies are sold out. A family member was to have gotten some for me, but his supply house ran out.
 
Can someone send a link? I would be most grateful!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote redcloud Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 03 2006 at 2:00pm
Try:

grainger.com

safetycentral.com

internationalsafetyllc.com

store.pksafety.net

nitro-pak.com

approvedgasmasks.com

www.emergencyresources.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GreenTeam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 14 2006 at 2:03pm
Is anyone familiar with this kind of mask, or with this vendor?
 
 
How many masks will we need?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AnitaRNpulmo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 14 2006 at 3:28pm
Looks fine
How many ? Al these kinds of masls are of the non reusable type for an infection control situation, so ....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 14 2006 at 3:35pm
Hello all,
 
I just bought some model 9210 N95 masks that were on sale at Northerntool.com
Box of 20 (individually wrapped) for $15. They had another one that was what they called a woodworkers respirator type mask with replaceable N95 filters, but i wasn't sure about that one...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lyrian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 18 2006 at 8:31am
Another great site for all kinds of masks is www.lss.com. They have everything, and will send you a 'phone book' size catalog with your first order.
Nothing in life is as it first appears.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parkingm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 23 2006 at 12:35am
I know I am new to this board, but have been "lurking" for sometime.  I went to order another case of masks today and was informed that they are becoming very scarce as the government is snatching them up.  Just a heads up if you haven't gotten all you need.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hydrangea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 23 2006 at 8:22am
I agree with parkingm about buying now. Yesterday I was thinking about adding to my supply of 3M N95 masks with the exhalation valve and looked at several mask-selling websites that I had bookmarked. Three sites were sold out, one anticipated having more in two weeks and another had more than doubled their prices. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rocky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 23 2006 at 2:48pm
Hi there, don't think you can do much better than letting us help you. As a longtime member of this forum we have answered many questions, provided many with masks and generally hope to be of help. At this time we still are able to get stock on the 3 types of masks we carry. Here is the link to the correct page:
http://www.homeemergencyusa.com/Face-Masks%2C-First-Aid-and-Survival-Kits_5_category.html
Keep safe, Rocky

Originally posted by parkingm parkingm wrote:

I know I am new to this board, but have been "lurking" for sometime.  I went to order another case of masks today and was informed that they are becoming very scarce as the government is snatching them up.  Just a heads up if you haven't gotten all you need.

    
Prepare for the Unexpected!
Rocky
http://www.homeemergencyusa.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jazzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2006 at 1:34pm
i found some good prices for N100 3M masks.  i have been seeing them for up to $10.95 each, but i found the same thing on www.library-dust.com for only $5.95 and a box of 20 for $113.

thats the best price ive ever seen.
*****************************
Courage is Fear that has said its prayers

Jazzy Acre Herbals
http://jazzyherbals.xeir.com/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cockney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 22 2007 at 2:47pm
Hello there all, It's nice to know im not the only one taking this thing serious as everyone i know thinks im mad !
Im in the uK and I was wondering if anyone on here had any information regarding the cheapest places to buy masks from, every site i seem to visit is laden with BF ads and i can't help but feel i will be paying over the top for them, does anyone have any pointers ?

Thank you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 22 2007 at 3:47pm
Hi cockney, welcome to the forum. There's lots of good info here.  I am in the US and have bought masks a couple of times from planforflu.com.  Prices for the Moldex N95 masks run $28.95 for ten and $250.00 for a case of 100.  Orders over $30.00 have free shipping.  Hope this helps.
Dixie
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cockney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 24 2007 at 1:10pm
Hi,
Thanks a lot for that i will check them out, it's always good to get recomendations before buying !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 29 2007 at 12:26pm
Cheapest place for masks in the UK is www.toolstation.com Next Day delivery to UK is free for orders over £40.  The valved ones are a little more expensive but will be more comfortable to wear.
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http://www.xodigo.com/h5n1/facemask.htm
 
Found this really easy to read and understand  top web site ....
 
Stockpiling of FFP masks is only possible to a certain extent because of their limited shelf-life of 3 years (see above). Surgical masks do not have a limited shelf-life. Although many federal governments will stockpile a certain number of masks, Healthy members of the general population will be expected to obtain their own surgical masks

Family Planning:

FACE MASKS

FFP3 Face mask Face masks come in various types based on efficiency. Following are general facts about face masks, types of masks, classifications, recommendations, about face masks and the influenza virus, stockpiling information and the sources.

 

Here are some key issues about face masks followed by more technical information.

The spread of viruses can be restricted by using face masks as the SARS experience proved. There are several types of faces masks on the market but the shelf-life of masks and or filters is limited. There are three categories of effectiveness which are listed below. Please note:

  • The face mask must fit well: the nose clip, head tapes or elastic and edges must seal.
  • Beards hamper effectiveness: particle-filtering half-masks are impaired by beards. People with beards are recommended to remove them.
  • Particle-filtering face masks should not generally be worn for longer than 8 hours in total. Surgical masks should not generally be worn for longer than 2 to 3 hours in total.
  • Other masks, if used carefully (avoiding contamination of the inner surface when removing the mask), can be worn several times by the same person.
  • The face mask must be changed in the following situations:
    − If a particle-filtering mask has been worn for 8 hours in total (2 to 3 hours for surgical masks)
    − If the face mask has come into direct contact with secretions containing pathogens (the virus)
    − If the face mask has visible defects
    − If breathing resistance is increased due to moisture
  • Face masks must be kept in a clean place protected from dust and moisture.
  • You must have a plan to properly dispose of used or contaminated masks otherwise they become a health risk in themselves.
  • The manufacturers of face masks can be contacted for information on their shelf-life.
  • It has not been demonstrated unequivocally that face masks protect against infections in general since no well-founded efficacy tests have been carried out with live or inactivated germs. However, experience with SARS suggests that the spread of viruses can be restricted by face masks.
  • There is the question of the psychological value of masks for the population during a pandemic.

Types of Masks

There are several types of face masks available which offer various levels of protection. The simplest way of protecting against droplet-borne germs is to use surgical masks. These can reduce the spread of germs in the exhaled air of sick people. The type of mask attached to the wearer’s head by an elastic head band is recommended since it is easy to use and stays in place well. Only surgical masks (or those with an elastic band) of type II, or, if possible type IIR (the letter R indicates greater splash resistance) which comply with national standards are recommended. Surgical masks become soaked with moisture after about 2 to 3 hours, which causes them to lose their efficacy.

Classifications

In the USA, N-95 and N-99 filter masks offer a greater degree of protection. The European standard is EN149. Masks come in three classes, FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3.
The filter classification is based on the protection conferred against particles (max. 0.6 μm). The filtration efficiency is at least 95% for FFP2 masks and at least 99% for FFP3 masks. The filtration effect of the masks is achieved by electrostatically charged fibers, the efficiency of which decreases with age and at an ambient humidity level over 80%. FFP masks are soaked through after about 8 hours.

Recommendations

During the SARS epidemic there was some evidence that FFP masks and surgical masks may have been of benefit. The WHO (World Health Organization) does not state that wearing face masks in public is an effective way of protecting the population against infection and thus preventing the spread of the pandemic; however, the organization leaves it to each country to decide whether or not to take this approach.

The Influenza Virus

The influenza virus is transmitted primarily by droplets. It may also spread by hand-to-face contact if a non-infected person touches a person or surface contaminated with infected droplets. It is not certain whether the virus can be spread in the air. Since the potential pandemic virus and its mode of transmission are not yet known, the possibility that it can spread in the air (aerosol-borne) cannot be excluded. The reader’s attention is drawn explicitly to the fact these recommendations are based only on the preliminary findings currently available. Further research is required to provide evidence-based support for the recommendations. The recommendations issued by the WHO and national health organization will be adapted to reflect as accurately as possible current knowledge of the virus’s mode of transmission.

Masks should have a bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) of ≥ 92%, breathing resistance < 5.0 mm water/cm2 and splash resistance ≥ 120 mm Hg. (Total leakage from the masks is generally around the same as FFP1 masks.)

Stockpiling Face Masks

Stockpiling of FFP masks is only possible to a certain extent because of their limited shelf-life of 3 years (see above). Surgical masks do not have a limited shelf-life. Although many federal governments will stockpile a certain number of masks, Healthy members of the general population will be expected to obtain their own surgical masks.

References

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HHS Pandemic Influenza Plan. 2005; 233.
  • World Health Organization. WHO global influenza preparedness plan. 2005; 42f.
  • BVet. Empfehlungen zum Schutz des zur Bekämpfung der klassischen Geflügelpest eingesetzten Personals. 2005.
  • Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V., Berlin, «Operationsmasken – Anforderungen und Prüfverfahren», Deutsche Fassung prEN 14683. 2003; 1-15.
  • Lange JH. Use of disposable face masks for public health protection against SARS. J Epidemiol Comm Health 2004; 85: 434.

Poll results: Our Quick Poll for January 07 asked "Would you were a face mask?" (in the event of an outbreak)
Yes: 82.4 %
No: 11.8%
Unsure: 5.9%
These percentages were from some 1900 votes from various countries.

Next: » Pandemics, history and current facts

Related Articles:
» Family Planning Practical steps (part 1)
» Family Planning Practical steps (part 2)
» Social Distancing and How the National Plan Will Effect You
» Case Study: How our community reacted to H5N1 when it came.
» Specific advise for your children.
» Face masks, which ones work and when to change them, details

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 06 2007 at 3:03pm
I do not understand how a mask could go off beyonds its use by date.  If it gets damp then maybe but if stored in a cool dark place in its original airtight wrapping.  I note that my FFP2 stash has a 5yr "best before" date but does anyone know why???
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote web ferret Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2008 at 12:29pm
Just "bumping" this to see if anyone knows an answer to my mask expiry date question.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote web ferret Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2008 at 12:31pm
Originally posted by wrote:

I do not understand how a mask could go off beyonds its use by date.  If it gets damp then maybe but if stored in a cool dark place in its original airtight wrapping.  I note that my FFP2 stash has a 5yr "best before" date but does anyone know why???


Just "bumping" this to see if anyone knows the answer to this.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RICHARD-FL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 18 2008 at 6:28pm
Do not use bleach water on clothing and skin.  You want to use the same thing the military uses.  Plain old Lysol is the best there is for decontamination.  Their special chemical and bio warfare people use it in a hand spray that is used on gloves, gas-masks, and clothing during decontamination.  It is mixed with water at a 50% solution.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RICHARD-FL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2008 at 4:39pm
I noticed today that the FDA has approved too mask for wearing during a pandemic.  Both are 3M products No. 8612 and 8670.  That all the information that was posted.
 
Has any one thought about a reusable or homemade mask?  If the news travels fast the current supply of mask will not last long and you could be with out any available.  It would be nice to see a mask that will work to the N-95 level but is home made.
 
Another question is what about military gas masks and commercial masks are they usable?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2008 at 9:54pm
Originally posted by web ferret web ferret wrote:

Originally posted by wrote:

I do not understand how a mask could go off beyonds its use by date.  If it gets damp then maybe but if stored in a cool dark place in its original airtight wrapping.  I note that my FFP2 stash has a 5yr "best before" date but does anyone know why???


Just "bumping" this to see if anyone knows the answer to this.
 
I don't know Web Ferret. Perhaps the materials, stitching, glues break down after a period of time. Even elastic will deteriorate in that amount of time.  Annie
 
[Disposable P2 Valved Respirator EN149:2001 FFP2Comfortable valved respirator protects against fine non toxic and low to average toxicity dusts, fibres, solid and liquid aerosols. Exhalation valve reduces the build up of heat and moisture inside the mask and helps improve wearer acceptance. Contoured fit, lightweight, low breathing resistance. Latest standard EN149:2001 FFP2. Supplied in box's of 10 masks.

Single use respirators for use against solid and liquid aerosols are classified according to one of 3 categories:

FFP1: Protection against non-toxic solid and liquid aerosols up to 4.5 x O.E.L. (Occupational Exposure Limit), or 4 x APF (Assigned Protection Factor).
FFP2: Protection against non-toxic and low-to-average toxicity solid and liquid aerosols in concentrations up to 12 x O.E.L., or 10 x APF.
FFP3: Protection against non-toxic, low-to-average toxicity and high toxicity a solid and liquid aerosols (e.g. oil mists) in concentrations up to 50 x O.E.L., or 20 x APF.


You should conduct a risk assessment to decide on the level of protection required, and this is dependant on the contaminant concentration.

PriceDisposable%20P2%20Valved%20Respirator%20EN149:2001%20FFP2
Size
Valved FFP2 - Box of 10 masks £8.49
Valved FFP2 - Case of 120 masks £84.59
*prices include VAT
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