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Not all Masks are Created Equal.

Three months ago, we thought 2021 and the worst of the pandemic would soon be behind us...then came Omicron. Ugh!

I'll admit, even armed with the knowledge of how to bolster my immune system in the age of COVID, I was still scared. I thought I'd have to go back to keeping my family under lock and key away from the world and normalcy. We were just getting used to having a little fun.

Learning that the quality of mask really impacts the odds of virus transmission, lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. So now, I make sure that along with my nutrition and supplement routine, I keep a good quality mask with me and each member of my family.

Take a look at the stats. They are pretty eye opening. We created a document that breaks it all down. Take a look.

Take a look at the entire document and Download.

BNH Wellness - COVID - Mask Document
Download PDF • 1.30MB


N95 Vs KN95 ? How Do I Know What's Real?

Learn about RELIABLE Masks. What do all the Numbers Mean?

  • N95s are made to U.S. government standards put out by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and are rigorously tested.

  • KF94 is a South Korean standard, and those respirators are regulated by the South Korean government.

  • KN95 is a Chinese respirator standard, but these respirators aren't strictly regulated by the Chinese government. The ones made by Powecom have done well in tests. Low-quality or outright fake KN95s have been a problem throughout the pandemic so be careful.

Clues to Detect Fake Masks:

  • the front of KN95s are supposed to be stamped with both the company name and the respirator standard number.

  • Masks produced after July 1, 2021, bear the standard number GB2626-2019

  • masks produced before that date have the standard number GB2626-2006.

  • If your KN95 is missing those things, this suggests it's not authentic.

  • Guidelines for spotting fake N95s, here's the CDC's guide for spotting fakes.

Where are Trusted Places to Buy Good Quality Masks:

  • Project N95 is one option — it vets mask distributors.

  • Armbrust, a company that sells medical-grade masks made in the U.S. by itself and various manufacturers.

  • big-box stores like Home Depot and Lowes

  • Amazon can be tricky, because vendors change quickly. But if you really want the convenience that Amazon offers, stick to the official stores of well-known mask brands, such as 3M or Kimberly-Clark.

  • For a South Korean KF94 respirator: Be Healthy USA and Kollecte USA.

How to Reuse an N95 or other respirator?

  • For Long Work Days: Follow the "brown bag decontamination method." Basically, if you need to wear a respirator all day for your job, at the end of the day, put it in a brown paper bag or hang it up in a cool, dry place. The idea is to let it rest for five days so any viral particles trapped on it can die off. Label the bags "Monday mask," "Tuesday mask," etc. The CDC advises reusing an N95 respirator no more than five times. (Health workers shouldn't reuse them.) Using this guideline, a rotation of just five respirators could last you 25 days.

  • For Quick Trip Uses: What if you use an N95 only for a quick trip to the store every now and then? Then think about your respirator's total life span as being about 40 hours of use. This is the equivalent of five eight-hour days. If the respirator is dirty or getting harder to breathe through, or if the straps have gotten stretched out, it's time to get rid of it.

Masks Can Expire:

  • mask can lose some of its particle-trapping electrostatic charge over time, and the headbands or ear loops can lose elasticity — all of which may render it less protective.

  • KN95s typically have a two- or three-year shelf life. Check the packaging for a small ticket that will tell you when it was made.

  • N95s NIOSH doesn't require respirators to be marked with a shelf life date, though some manufacturers will include this information. While it's possible that some expired N95s may still work well, once they're past their shelf life, they're no longer considered NIOSH approved.

(NPR, 2021)

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