Surgical Masks vs. N95 Respirators
There are two types of medical face masks: Procedure masks (a.k.a. surgical masks) and N95 masks (a.k.a. respirators).
It is important to understand the differences between the two:
- Face seal fit
- Intended use and purpose
- Testing and approval
- Fit testing requirement
- User seal check required
- Fluid resistant, protects wearer against large droplets, splashes or sprays of bodily or other hazardous fluids and protects patients from wearer’s respiratory emissions
- Degree of protection is indicated by ASTM level
- Leakage occurs around edges of mask when user inhales
- Cleared by Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Reduces wearer’s exposure to particles including small particle aerosols and large droplets (only non-oil aerosols)
- Provides wearer with a reliable level of respiratory protection by filtering out at least 95% of large and small airborne particles
- When properly fitted, allows minimal leakage around edges when user inhales
- Cleared by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and evaluated, tested and approved by NIOSH as per 42 CFR Part 84 requirements
- Yes. Every time it is put on.
All Masks (6 products)
How to wear your mask correctly
A medical mask can only provide the protection it is designed to offer if it is worn correctly. This means there should be no gaps along the sides of the mask between the mask and the face and that the mask should extend from the bridge of the nose to the chin. It is critical that the mask covers not only the mouth, but also the nose. To ensure adequate coverage of the nose, masks should not be worn below or at the tip of the nose.
Choosing the right ASTM level
The ASTM (American Society of Testing and Materials) classifies the level of protection provided by medical masks as Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3 (with Level 3 providing the highest level of protection), based on the following criteria:
|Bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE)||≥ 95%||≥ 98%||≥ 98%|
|Particulate filtration efficiency at 0.1 μm (PFE)||≥ 95%||≥ 98%||≥ 98%|
|Resistant to penetration by synthetic blood||@80 mm Hg||@120 mm Hg||@160 mm Hg|
|Differential pressure (ΔP)||< 5.0 mm H2O/cm2||< 6.0 mm H2O/cm2||< 6.0 mm H2O/cm2|
|Flame spread||Class 1||Class 1||Class 1|
|N95 respirators only: Solid Aerosol filter efficiency||≥ 95%||≥ 95%||≥ 95%|
- Product Name:Medicom Architect™
- Product Type:Single-use
- Earloop:Polyester and spandex
- Quantity per Inner Carton:50
- Country of Origin:Canada
- Non-woven spunbond outer layer provides maximum protection against fluid penetration.
- Soft, strong, ultrasonically sealed earloops attached to outside of mask prevent pulling and irritation and allow easy removal with less risk of self-contamination.
- Shingle pleat design prevents fluid pooling and cross-contamination.
- High-quality media ensures optimal filtration and breathability.
- Adjustable, enclosed nosepiece forms a strong seal to provide customized protection and comfort.
|Bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE)||≥ 98%|
|Sub-micron particulate efficiency at 0.1µm (PFE) /||≥ 98%|
|Resistant to penetration by synthetic blood||@160 mm Hg|
|Differential Pressure (ΔP)||< 6.0 mm H2O/cm2|
|Flame Spread||Class 1|
About the SafeMask Architect Pro™ Respirator Mask
Made in Canada by the medical mask experts, this medical grade respirator has been evaluated for use in healthcare settings according to recognized standards for biocompatibility, flammability and fluid resistance. It offers optimal respiratory protection by filtering out over 95% of solid airborne particles free of oil for up to 8-hours.
- Approved by Health Canada, the IRSST and the CNESST.
- Premium materials, innovative “duck bill” shape, adjustable nose piece and lightweight construction ensure optimal breathability.
- Unique single split comfort band holds mask securely in place.
- Tested in our laboratories, as well as by a recognized independent laboratory, to ensure quality and compliance.
- Available in 3 sizes; small, medium and large.
Hints & Tips on Fit Testing the Medicom
SafeMask Architect Pro™ respirator mask
The following tips will help ensure the most accurate results when performing fit testing of the Medicom SafeMask Architect Pro™ mask using either the qualitative or quantitative (Portacount) testing method.
In addition to the usual steps for testing – the wearer must be clean shaven, must not have eaten or smoked recently – he or she must closely follow the specified donning instructions, paying particular attention to ensuring that the Portacount test the probe is fitted in the centre of the top portion of the mask, between the nose and the chin to one side.
Ensure that the nose piece is curved gently before beginning donning.
Ensure that the nose piece does NOT get pinched into a “V”.
Ensure that the mask is located just below the chin, approximately 1 cm behind the jawbone, and NOT all the way back to the throat.
Ensure that there is plenty of space at the front of the mask so that when in place, it is not near the lips.
Ensure that the top strap sits high on the head and, when possible, the lower strap is below the ears.
Once the mask is correctly positioned, the key areas for fitting are the nose piece and across the cheeks.
Using two fingers on either side of the nose, working away from the nose and across the cheek bones, push firmly every 2mm, moulding the mask to the cheeks.
Ensure that the nose piece does not create a “V” shape.
The wearer should press firmly along the top of the mask to ensure a secure fit.
With the Portacount test the probe should be fitted in the centre of the top portion of the mask between the nose and the chin to one side.
The Medicom SafeMask Architect Pro™ mask is extremely comfortable and breathable. It is designed to be worn for up to one continuous work session of 8 hours. Please see our videos for donning, doffing and fit testing instructions towards the bottom of this page.
Introducing SafeMask Architect Pro Surgical 95PFE-L2 Respirator
Watch this video to learn more about the benefits of SafeMask Architect Pro. Made in Canada by the medical mask experts, this medical grade respirator has been evaluated for use in healthcare settings according to recognized standards for biocompatibility, flammability and fluid resistance and provides optimal respiratory protection by filtering out 95% of particulate aerosols free of oil.
Please watch this video to see a Medicom Fit Test expert show the best way to prepare and fit the Medicom SafeMask Architect ProTM mask.
Please watch this video of a Medicom Fit Test expert demonstrating the best way to remove the Medicom SafeMask Architect Pro™ mask.
For detailed directions on the Qualitative Fit Test Process with the Medicom SafeMask Architect Pro™ mask, please watch our dedicated video.
Available for fit testers only. Sizing guides will be available shortly.
Pre-orders are accepted at this time.