Best Face Masks With High Filtration Efficiency: A Helpful Guide For Parents

·7-min read

As things stand today, face masks are here to stay and possibly the only real protective cover between you and the Covid-19 infection when in a public space. Mask use continues to be a key public health strategy in preventing infection and reducing the expulsion and transmission of droplets.

The recent spike in cases in Singapore also suggest higher transmission, which is most likely due to the new virus variants.

In light of the new Covid-19 infections in the community, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced a new set of guidelines related to face masks.

So if you are looking for the best mask for face, the ministry’s recent guidelines should be taken seriously. Here’s what the MOH is advising you to look out for, the next time you need to purchase a mask for better protection.

Higher Filtration Efficiency

best mask for face
best mask for face

Image Source: Pexels

The MOH suggests using masks that offer higher bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE). The BFE level refers to the protective barrier that the material of the face mask can provide.

A face mask with a higher BFE will be more effective in stopping bacteria from reaching the wearer’s mouth.

Ideally, face masks that meet medical and surgical standards have a BFE of 95 percent, which translates to 95 percent of the droplets being blocked.

Before you purchase the mask, make sure to check its BFE rating that will be a part of the product description.

Choosing The Best Mask For Face Use

The best mask for face use according to the ministry include reusable masks made of at least two layers of fabric and surgical masks.

The MOH also says that reusable masks issued by the People’s Association and Temasek Foundation also have good filtration efficiency.

What To Look For In A Face Mask

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) issued updated guidelines on 19 May, 2021, and here are some things to bear in mind before you purchase a face mask.

  • Face masks need to have at least two to three layers of fabric.

  • Masks should not be see-through when held against the light.

  • Each layer should be a different fabric made with a water-repellant outer layer, a middle filter layer to remove fine particles. And then an absorbent inner layer to absorb droplets that come from the wearer’s mouth.

  • The face mask should not be too small for your face. It should cover your nose and mouth properly to provide adequate protection from external bacteria.

  • Buyers should also look for enough permeability to allow breathing without compromising on the filtration efficiency of the mask.

  • The HSA also recommends people reduce talking when wearing a face mask to lower the amount of condensation produced within the mask.

Purchase Masks With ASTM Ratings

best mask for face
best mask for face

Image Source: Pexels

It’s also wise to purchase face masks that carry ASTM ratings. These are issued by an organisation called ASTM International (formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials). The organisation develops and publishes standards on materials and products used for personal protective equipment.

In February 2021, ASTM issued ratings for consumer face masks, which were previously restricted to only surgical masks. To receive a rating, the face masks need to be tested for bacterial and particulate filtration capability and fluid resistance.

ASTM gradings vary from one to three and require all filter particles of 0.1 micron and above.

All surgical masks manufactured and sold in Singapore need to comply with the ASTM F2100 and EN 14683 international standards. They also need to be tested to meet a minimum bacterial filtration efficiency of 95 percent.

When Should You Change Your Face Mask?

NTU Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine Professor of Infectious Diseases Professor Laurent Renia suggests changing disposable masks every four hours after continuous use.

  • Meanwhile, you need to wash reusable masks daily.

  • Experts also suggest that you only touch the straps of the mask and not the surfaced when removing it.

  • Make sure to wash your hands or clean them with a sanitiser after removing the mask.

Who Should Wear A Face Mask?

best mask for face
best mask for face

Image Source: Pexels

The current rules in Singapore mandate everyone over the age of six years to wear a face mask in public areas. The ministry does not recommend masks for children below the age of two. Toddlers may not be able to remove them correctly and risk suffocation.

Not wearing a face mask in a public area will attract a fine of $300 for first-time offenders. Meanwhile, repeat offenders will pay higher penalties and also risk prosecution in court.

The rules also clarify that an individual can remove his/her face mask only to eat or drink when outside. They can also remove the mask when conducting any strenuous exercise.

Indoor exercise facilities also require you to wear a face mask under the Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) guidelines.

Face Masks Not Recommended By The Ministry OF Health

The government does not recommend using face masks with exhalation valves during the pandemic. The idea is to reduce the number of particles and droplets to come in contact with you.

Masks with exhalation valves make it easier for droplets to penetrate and increase the risk of spreading the infection further.

The ministry does not recommend using bandannas, scarves, handkerchiefs, neck gaiters or a plastic spit guard instead of a face mask.

Even face shields do not substitute face masks when it comes to protecting you from water droplet infection.

HSA Approved Surgical Face Masks You Can Buy

The Health Science Authority (HSA) has also released a list of local manufacturers and brands that comply with the ASTM F2100 and EN 14683 certifications for face masks for you to make a more informed purchase.

There are a total of 26 local manufacturing facilities licensed by HSA.

Here’s the complete list:

HSA-Licensed Local Face Mask Manufacturers

Brand Name

Aprotect Pte Ltd

Aprotect 3-ply Medical Grade Medical Face Mask

Asun International Pte Ltd

Asun Disposable Medical Mask

AVS Technologies Pte Ltd

WellM 3 ply Elastic Earloop Medical Mask

AVS Technologies Pte Ltd

Kyla 3-ply Disposable Medical Mask

Calmedix Manufacturing Pte Ltd

Fortify F1 3-Ply Disposable Face Mask

Calmedix Manufacturing Pte Ltd

Fortify F2 3-Ply Disposable Medical Mask

Cosmes Supplies Pte Ltd

COSMES 3 Ply Earloop Face Mask

DIP Investments Pte Ltd

MoharMed 3 Ply Premium Disposable Medical Face Mask

Dou Yee Enterprises(S) Pte Ltd

3-Ply Non-woven Face Masks

Egis Nanotech Pte Ltd

Dumanis Disposable Fluid Resistant Medical Mask Level 1

Egis Nanotech Pte Ltd

Dumanis Disposable Fluid Resistant Medical Mask Level 2

Essential Medical Supplies Pte Ltd

Maxcare Disposable Medical Mask

Fabri-Tech Components (S) Pte Ltd

MaskSafe Disposable Surgical Face Mask

KHM Engineering Pte Ltd

OP’ R KOLMI Medical Mask

LPY Manufacturing (S) PTE LTD

DA 3-Ply Disposable Surgical Mask

Medi Dent International Pte Ltd

Surgisyl 3-Ply Surgical Mask

MedtechBOSS Pte Ltd

SMedLife Medical Face Mask

Racer Technology Pte Ltd

KOH 3-Ply Surgical Disposable Facemask

Racer Technology Pte Ltd

Perfect Nature 3-Ply Surgical Disposable Facemask

Racer Technology Pte Ltd

Healwav 3-Ply Surgical Disposable Facemask

Racer Technology Pte Ltd

Granzilla 3-Ply Surgical Disposable Facemask

Razer Health Pte. Ltd.

#RAZERFORLIFE PREMIUM CERTIFIED 3-PLY SURGICAL MASK

Soteria Healthcare Pte Ltd

Protego-3 Premium 3-Ply Surgical Masks

ST Engineering Innosparks Pte Ltd

AIR+ Medical Grade Surgical Mask

The Wellness Fellows Pte Ltd

The Wellness Fellows Adult Earloop Surgical Mask ASTM F2100 LEVEL 3

The Wellness Fellows Pte Ltd

The Wellness Fellows Kids Earloop Surgical Mask ASTM F2100 LEVEL 3

The Wellness Fellows Pte Ltd

The Wellness Fellows Adult Earloop Surgical Mask EN 14683 TYPE IIR

The Wellness Fellows Pte Ltd

The Wellness Fellows Kids Earloop Surgical Mask EN 14683 TYPE IIR

Ti2 Chemicals Pte Ltd

C19Shield Surgical Mask

Vital Shield Pte Ltd

Vital Face Mask VS50MB

Wes Medical Care Manufacturing Pte Ltd

Wes Medical 3-Ply Surgical Face Mask

Wes Medical Care Manufacturing Pte Ltd

Wes Medical Premium Protective Face Mask

Source: CNA

ALSO READ:

Buying A Face Mask For Your Child Amidst Rising COVID-19 Cases? Read This First!

Children Under 6 Years Old No Longer Legally Required To Wear Face Masks

The post Best Face Masks With High Filtration Efficiency: A Helpful Guide For Parents appeared first on theAsianparent - Your Guide to Pregnancy, Baby & Raising Kids.