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Kn95 Masks : 10 Things To Check Before Buying

KN95 Masks: Note: In many cases Kn95 masks are a Better and More Cost Effective Solution than a N95 Mask which traditionally has been the standard for medical professionals – here are some things to consider:


  • KN95 masks provide 95% protection against all particles that are greater than 0.3 m in diameter. This is an effective barrier against bacteria, viruses, pollution particles, fine particles, dust, smog, pollen, etc.
  • The term KN95 stands for the regulatory standard for filtering face piece respirators that are certified in China.
  • Typically KN95 masks have a 3D foldable design, earloops, nose bridge/nosepiece, and provide excellent fitting and sealing.
  • The masks feature 5-layer protection and are skin-friendly (don’t cause rash and skin irritation).
  • Currently approved by the WHO as a safety measure from COVID-19; used by health care providers, patients, and citizens.
  • Currently advised by the WHO for extended use and reuse.

1. What Does KN95 Mean?

KN95 stands for the regulatory standard for filtering face piece respirators that are certified in China. The regulatory standard ensures filtration efficiency, a tight seal with the face as well as minimum leakage.The certification applies in terms of use against non-oily particulates, as well as the current use against the COVID-19.These requirements for a KN95 certification are almost the same as the requirements for the US N95 filtering face piece respirators.That is why both KN95 and N95 provide the same levels of protection, according to international standards and certifications.

2. What Is A KN95 Mask?

KN95 respiratory masks are masks that are regulated by the Chinese government under regulations GB2626-2006, GB262-2019, and GB19083-2010. These masks have become available worldwide since April 2020 to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.Healthcare professionals extensively use the KN95 filtering facepiece respirators since they meet the FDA guidelines and international standards.The KN95 mask fits tightly around the face and thus create an airtight seal. This mask features an earloop fastener, whereas other types of masks that use head strap attachments.Many favor the KN95 mask design due to how easy it is to put on. It also fits very well from the nose to the chin area preventing particles from bypassing the mask filter.

3. What Does A KN95 Mask Protect You From?

The KN95 mask design provides effective respiratory protection against all sorts of particles, including bacteria and viruses.The KN95 masks provide 95% protection against all particles that are greater than 0.3 m in diameter.This means it is an effective barrier against bacteria, viruses, pollution particles, fine particles, dust, smog, pollen, and reduce the risk of bacteria and viral infections

4. What Are KN95 Masks Made From?

The KN95 masks are multi-layer masks, that usually feature 5-layer protection. The layers are made from high-quality, nonwoven fabric, hot air cotton, and melt-blown fabric.The nonwoven fabric is hydrophobic, and is water- and droplet-proof. Moreover, the hot air cotton is soft and ensures lower air velocity. Further layers ensure particle filtration and hypoallergenic materials, that are skin-friendly.Such a layered fabric construction contributes to the mask’s particle filtering efficiency and a generally better design. Speaking of design, the KN95 mask has a 3D foldable design, as well as an adjustable nose bridge clip to fit the face better and firmer.Unlike other masks, the KN95 mask features an elastic earloop. This further ensures a tight and firm fitting to the face, from nose to chin area.Note: Some KN95 masks have 4 instead of 5 layers. However, these 4-layered masks are generally cheaper, and not recommended for use against COVID-19. The WHO and CDC recommend respiratory masks with 5 layers only.

5. How Long Can You Use A KN95 Mask?

Both the US N95 and Chinese KN95 masks are manufactured and designed for one-time use (disposable design).This means that each new use would normally require a new mask. However, because of the shortage of the N95 and KN95 masks, the CDC has recommended reusing disposable masks as a crisis capacity strategy.Strategies for the extended use of masks like N95 or KN95 are available at

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) According to NIOSH, the N95 and KN95 can be reused (only if properly stored between uses and only if used by one and same individual), and used for an extended period of time. Thus an individual may wear the same mask for a continuous period of time in one day, after which the mask should be disposed of due to repeated exposure and close contact.

6. Is KN95 Mask Efficient?

KN95 mask design have at least 95% filtration efficiency. This makes them just as good as the N95 masks (97% filtration efficiency) and better than surgical masks (95% filtration efficiency) and PM 2.5 filter masks (approximately 60% filtration efficiency).Generally, these masks are very effective against airborne particles, viruses, and bacteria. Their efficiency was tested and proven through international regulations and regulatory standards of FDA, CDC, etc.However, studies have shown that the filtration efficiency of KN95 masks drops after sterilization or extended use. The filtration efficiency can drop even 50% post-sterilization.The simple reason, filtering facepiece respirators are designed for one-time use and should then be disposed of.That is why caution should be exercised when reusing or sterilizing respiratory masks.That is why the CDC recommends extended use only if the mask maintains its fit and function and is properly stored between use (if it’s being reused).

7. Does WHO Recommend KN95 Masks Against COVID-19?

The WHO has provided guidance and available evidence when it comes to the use of respiratory masks like KN95 as a protective measure against COVID-19.So far, what they know is that these masks should be effective against virus transmission and for protection against infection.These masks are being used by health care providers. And since it is believed that they protect from at least 95% of all particles, bacteria, and viruses, their use will be continued.However, the WHO states and emphasizes that there are currently NOT ENOUGH studies to evaluate the effectiveness of respiratory masks like the N95 or KN95 against Coronavirus in particular. However, they still advise that these masks should be worn as a part of the protective measure strategy in regards to infection transmission and the prevention of virus transmission among health care providers, patients, and citizens.

8. How To Handle KN95 Masks?

According to the Crisis Standards of Care by CDC, decontamination recommendations in regards to handling a decontaminated mask are as follows;

  • Before and after touching or adjusting the respiratory mask, you should clean your hands with soap and water, or an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching the inside of the mask.
  • When touching and adjusting the mask, make sure to use a pair of clean (non-sterile) gloves.
  • Visually inspect the respiratory mask to see whether its composition and fitting have been compromised.
  • Make sure to check whether the mask components like the nose bridge, straps, and nose foam material did not degrade (which can compromise the mask efficiency, quality of the fit, and seal).
  • Always make sure to discard a used respiratory mask properly and never leave it exposed, where other people can touch it or use it.

9. How To Spot A Counterfeit KN95 Mask?

Not all KN95 masks and brands available on the market are authentic, and due to the shortage of the masks, there are many counterfeit KN95 mask brands. Some of the signs that a respiratory mask is counterfeit are the following;

    • No markings on the filtering facepiece respirator mask whatsoever,
    • There is a NIOSH logo or a TC number on a KN95 mask (Only on an American-market N95 mask will you see a NIOSH logo)
    • There is an FDA logo on the box or packaging of the mask; FDA does NOT approve the use of the administration label on any respirator packaging,
    • Presence of decorative fabric or other decorative add-ons (e.g. sequins),
    • Claims that the mask is approved for children (NIOSH does NOT approve any of the respiratory protection for children),
    • There are straps for ears instead of earloops for KN95 masks

Here are some further tips on how you can test a KN95 mask to see if it’s fake:

Flammability if a mask is KN95 certified when exposed to a flame it should melt but not ignite. Counterfeit KN95 masks are made from cheap materials and will ignite when in contact with a flame.Permeability if a mask is KN95 certified, it should limit the airflow going in and out of the mask. You can test this by trying to blow out a candle or a flame of a lighter by blowing through the mask. With a KN95 rated mask, you shouldn’t be able to blow out the flame no matter how hard you blow.Liquid resistance if a mask is KN95 certified, it will have a waterproof layer that will prevent the passage of fluid. You can test this by pouring some water into the mask. A certified KN95 mask will contain all the water with no leakage, while a counterfeit mask will allow the water to flow through the mask.

10. How Do I Get A Proper Fit With A KN95 Mask?

To put the KN95 mask properly, make sure to do as follows:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizer before putting the mask.
  2. Hold the earloop mask and nosepiece facing up and place the mask under your chin.
  3. Stretch the earloops over each ear.
  4. Position and adjust the mask on your nose by using both of your hands. You should mold the nosepiece to the shape of your nose and push downwards on both sides of the nosepiece.
  5. Always perform a fit and seal check by placing both hands over the face mask. Make sure not to move or disturb the position of the mask. You can test whether the mask fits properly by exhaling; if there is air leakage, then make sure to adjust the mask again, especially the nosepiece.

Source: https://www.terrycralle.com/kn95-mask/

How Does a KN95 Compare to an N95 Mask?

“The KN95 is practically equivalent to N95 in every aspect,” says Amin. “Customers seem to believe that the N95 is superior at blocking airborne particles, but the KN95 is just as good, if not better,” he insists. “Many N95 [masks] are also made in parts of China and Asia so the notion that all N95 are U.S.-created is inaccurate as well.”The FDA has released a list of approved N95 masks here

Source: https://www.rollingstone.com/product-recommendations/lifestyle/n95-vs-kn95-masks-1044184/ See also https://ppe4wholesale.com/kn95-3ply-masks/ for wholesale purchases of our 3 Ply Surgical Mask and KN95 product line as well as the CDC [Center for Disease Control] KN95 test results for our KN95 manufacturer.

One Chart Shows The Best And Worst Face Mask Types, Based on The Latest Research

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ARIA BENDIX, BUSINESS INSIDER
8 SEPTEMBER 2020

A simple trick can reveal whether your face mask offers sufficient protection: Try blowing out a candle while wearing it. A good mask should prevent you from extinguishing the flame.

The rule isn’t foolproof, but it should help weed out masks that aren’t very protective.

Ever since the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began recommending cloth masks for the general public in April, researchers have been evaluating the best materials for filtering the coronavirus.

An ideal mask blocks both large respiratory droplets from coughs or sneezes – the primary method by which people pass the virus to others – along with smaller airborne particles called aerosols, which are produced when people talk or exhale.

It should be sealed around the nose and mouth, since any gaps, holes, or vents could allow droplets to leak out and potentially infect another person.

Assuming masks are worn properly, certain materials consistently perform better than others in studies. Based on the latest research, here’s a ranking of the best and worst face coverings:

5f513b59e6ff30001d4e6ef2(Yuqing Liu/Insider)

‘Hybrid’ masks are among the safest homemade options

As a general rule, mask fabrics should be woven as tightly as possible. That’s why fabrics with higher thread counts are better at filtering particles.

It’s also preferable to have more than one layer. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that fabric masks have three layers: an inner layer that absorbs, a middle layer that filters, and an outer layer made from a nonabsorbent material like polyester.

N95 masks are the most protective because they seal tightly around the nose and mouth so that very few viral particles seep in or out. They also contain tangled fibres to filter airborne pathogens – the name refers to their minimum 95 percent efficiency at filtering aerosols.

A recent Duke study showed that less than 0.1 percent of droplets were transmitted through an N95 mask while the wearer was speaking.

That’s why they’re generally reserved for healthcare workers.

Disposable surgical masks are also made of non-woven fabric. A 2013 study found that surgical masks were about three times as effective at blocking influenza aerosols than homemade face masks (that was true, at least, when air flow was slower than a cough but faster than a human breathing during light work).

Still, there are homemade options that come close to the level of protection of an N95 or surgical mask.

An April study from the University of Chicago determined that “hybrid” masks – combining two layers of 600-thread-count cotton paired with another material like silk, chiffon, or flannel – filter at least 94 percent of small particles (less than 300 nanometres) and at least 96 percent of larger particles (bigger than 300 nanometres). Two layers of 600-thread-count cotton offer a similar level of protection against larger particles, but they weren’t as effective at filtering aerosols.

That study, however, conducted measurements at low air-flow rates, so the masks might offer less protection against a cough or sneeze. Still, multiple layers of high-thread-count cotton are preferable to face coverings made from a dishcloth or cotton T-shirt.

Fabrics like silk or cotton have more variable performances

June study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection found that masks made from vacuum-cleaner bags were among the most effective alternatives to surgical masks, followed by masks made from tea towels, pillowcases, silk, and 100 percent cotton T-shirts, respectively.

Research from the University of Illinois, meanwhile, found that a brand-new dishcloth was slightly more effective than a used 100 percent cotton T-shirt at filtering droplets when a person coughs, sneezes, or talks. That study (which is still awaiting peer review) also found that a used shirt made of 100 percent silk was more effective at filtering high-momentum droplets, likely because silk has electrostatic properties that can help trap smaller viral particles.

The University of Chicago study came to a different conclusion, however: Those researchers found that a single layer of natural silk filtered just 54 percent of small particles and 56 percent of larger particles. By contrast, four layers of natural silk filtered 86 percent of small particles and 88 percent of large particles at low air-flow rates.

Bandanas and scarves don’t offer great protection

Bandanas and scarves have performed poorly in multiple studies.

The Journal of Hospital Infection study found that a scarf only reduced a person’s infection risk by 44 percent after they shared a room with an infected person for 30 seconds. After 20 minutes of exposure, the scarf only reduced infection risk by 24 percent.

Similarly, the Duke researchers found that bandanas reduced the rate of droplet transmission by a factor of two, which makes them less protective than most other materials.

For the most part, though, any mask is better than no mask, with one notable exception: The CDC cautions people not to wear masks with built-in valves or vents.

Masks with one-way valves can expel infectious particles into the atmosphere, helping to fuel transmission.

Mask studies should be taken with a grain of salt

Although research is coalescing around the idea that a few types of masks offer the best protection, it’s not always easy to simulate how a mask will perform in real life.

That’s because only some tests directly mimic the size of novel coronavirus particles, while others evaluate performance based on viruses like influenza. Researchers also still aren’t sure about the degree to which the virus gets transmitted via aerosols, since those tiny particles are extremely hard to trap and study without killing the virus.

Some scientists even have different ideas of what constitutes an aerosol – the generally accepted cutoff is less than 5 microns (that’s roughly the size of a dust particle) – and many experts think the delineation is arbitrary altogether.

Different studies also test masks under different circumstances: Some mimic the heavy air flow produced when a person coughs, while others mimic the air flow when a person is talking or breathing normally.

And of course, masks perform differently depending on how they’re worn. That’s why it’s better to stick with more protection over less.

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

Schlieren images of coughs with varying degrees of face covering. Credit: Padmanabha Prasanna Simha, Indian Space Research Organisation

Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, wearing a mask while out in public has become the recommended practice. However, many still question the effectiveness of this.

To allay these doubts, Padmanabha Prasanna Simha, from the Indian Space Research Organisation, and Prasanna Simha Mohan Rao, from the Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research, experimentally visualized the flow fields of coughs under various common mouth covering scenarios. They present their findings in the journal Physics of Fluids.

“If a person can reduce the extent of how much they contaminate the environment by mitigating the spread, it’s a far better situation for other healthy individuals who may enter places that have such contaminated areas,” Simha said.

Density and temperature are intricately related, and coughs tend to be warmer than their surrounding area. Tapping into this connection, Simha and Rao utilized a technique called schlieren imaging, which visualizes changes in density, to capture pictures of voluntary coughs from five test subjects. By tracking the motion of a cough over successive images, the team estimated the velocity and spread of the expelled droplets.

Unsurprisingly, they found N95 masks to be the most effective at reducing the horizontal spread of a cough. The N95 masks reduced a cough’s initial velocity by up to a factor of 10 and limit its spread to between 0.1 and 0.25 meters.

An uncovered cough, in contrast, can travel up to 3 meters, but even a simple disposable mask can bring this all the way down to 0.5 meters.

“Even if a mask does not filter out all the particles, if we can prevent clouds of such particles from traveling very far, it’s better than not doing anything,” said Simha. “In situations where sophisticated masks are not available, any mask is better than no mask at all for the in slowing the spread of infection.”

Some of the other comparisons, however, were striking.

For example, using an elbow to cover up a cough is typically considered a good alternative in a pinch, which is contradictory to what the pair found. Unless covered by a sleeve, a bare arm cannot form the proper seal against the nose necessary to obstruct airflow. A is then able to leak through any openings and propagate in many directions.

Simha and Rao hope their findings will put to rest the argument that regular cloth masks are ineffective, but they emphasize that masks must continue to be used in conjunction with social distancing.

“Adequate distancing is something that must not be ignored, since are not foolproof,” Simha said.

Poorly Protected Postal Workers Are Catching COVID-19 by the Thousands. It’s One More Threat to Voting by Mail.

More than 50,000 workers have taken time off for virus-related reasons, slowing mail delivery. The Postal Service doesn’t test employees or check their temperatures, and its contact tracing is erratic.

The Trump family is extremely online today, and they’re all over the place with their messaging. 

On Friday morning, Twitter hid another one of Donald Trump’s tweets and slapped a warning label on it. Trump’s statement about the protests over the death of George Floyd — which included the phrase, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” — violated the site’s rules about glorifying violence, and many horrified users agreed. (For background, that phrase was first spoken in 1967 by Miami police chief, Walter Headley, when explaining that his force “didn’t mind being accused of police brutality.”)

This is part of an ongoing fight between the social media platforms and the president, who yesterday signed an executive order intended to intimidate these companies against getting in the way of him spreading (often false) information to his followers.

After Twitter took action against Trump’s tweet on Friday morning, the official White House Twitter account re-tweeted the president’s words. (Twitter eventually censored that tweet as well.) But as Trump’s unpresidential, divisive messages came under fire, his family members logged on and tried to do their best to clean up his mess.

Trump's family tries to clean up his mess by tweeting wildly inconsistent calls for peace

Image: screenshot / twitter

It’s rare to see the majority of the Trump family commenting online at the same time, but on Friday Melania, Ivanka, Donald Trump Jr., Eric, and even Lara shared their thoughts on the chaos that’s unfolding in Minnesota and Twitter’s actions against the president.

The tweets, however, all carried fairly inconsistent messages.

Melania called for peace and offered her deepest condolences to George Floyd’s family. She also asked that we focus on “peace, prayers & healing” as a nation, which directly contradicts her husband’s call to send the National Guard to Minnesota and use violence if necessary to get the situation under control.

Ivanka chose not to address the protests at all. She simply said the people in Minneapolis “are hurting for a reason” and that her heart goes out to Floyd’s family and all hurting Americans.

 “Justice is how we heal,” she wrote — providing a stark contrast in tone to her father’s tweets.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr., spent much of the morning trying to disparage Joe Biden, Ilhan Omar, and Jack Dorsey. But he did take some time to address the protests.

Eric Trump also took shots at Joe Biden and came for Twitter on Friday morning, and Lara Trump said that although a murder was committed, other crimes are now also taking place in Minnesota. 

It’s really striking to see that Trump and several of his family members seem more concerned with taking down Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey that dealing with the devastating events in Minneapolis, a deadly pandemic, and an unfolding economic crisis. But the president seems to be leaning in.

Since the social platform fact-checked one of Trump’s tweets about mail-in ballots earlier this week, he’s been firing off unhinged rants and accusing Twitter of trying to stifle free speech.

Even today, as the people continue to mourn the loss of George Floyd and plead for justice, Trump is bashing Twitter on Twitter. So is the White House account.

In times of deep sorrow and nationwide distress, this is not what a president’s Twitter account should look like. Americans should be able to count on the president and those associated with the White House to — at the very least — not further divide the nation or incite violence.

Chinese state news outlet Xinhua has introduced a new social media character in an effort to counter criticism of China in English-language media during the coronavirus pandemic. The cartoon character is called Terry-cotta, who explains that using face masks during a pandemic is good, that China isn’t hoarding PPE, and that Americans are very thankful for China’s donations of medical supplies.

The new character appears in an animated video that’s made to look like a Periscope livestream, complete with comments by viewers and little hearts fluttering to denote approval of the message being conveyed. The name Terry-cotta is a play on the Chinese terracotta warrior sculptures that date from the third century BCE.

“I don’t like masks either, but you know, with the virus out there, we better be cautious,” Terry-cotta says in a new YouTube video responding to an imaginary comment about masks being “stupid.”

Another segment of the new video shows Terry-cotta addressing complaints that masks which have been shipped out of China in recent months were defective, a huge scandal in Spain, which has been particularly hard hit during the pandemic, with over 236,000 covid-19 infections and more than 27,000 deaths.

“Hola from Spain,” the imaginary Periscope comment reads. “Some of our hospitals complain your exported masks of poor quality. They could not protect medicos.”

Terry-cotta sets the record straight, from the Chinese government’s perspective, insisting that the masks were never intended to be N95 quality. Instead, Terry-cotta insists, those masks were lower quality for everyday use on the street and shouldn’t have been ordered by a hospital.

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“Actually, what masks this company exported to Spain were masks for daily protection,” Terry-cotta says. “They are not up to the protective level of surgical masks, not to mention N95. Cases like this also happened in the Netherlands. Doctors and nurses, please ask your admin guys to get you the right kind of masks.”

In reality, it’s not just the Netherlands and Spain which have complained of faulty masks from China. Finland, India, Turkey, the Czech Republic, and Canada have also imported faulty masks from Chinese distributors. Many of the faulty masks were supposedly N95 quality, according to Canadian news outlets, and China’s medical device regulators have reportedly cracked down on exports of faulty PPE.

Terry-cotta also addresses questions about the “hoarding” of PPE, which the cartoon character denies by pointing out how much China is exporting at the moment. Terry-cotta also urges people who say tests kits made in China are faulty to “please follow instructions,” suggesting that medical professionals in other countries don’t know what they’re doing.

A fictional Periscope commenter called “GunGene” writes, “don’t buy anything from Terry. There are viruses on his stuff.” The comment echoes xenophobic and racist sentiments in many western countries against people of Asian descent. The name GunGene is clearly a nod to lax U.S. policies on firearms.

“You can say whatever you like,” Terry-cotta responds to GunGene, chuckling. “You’re welcome to stay away from our masks. Like going out into a crowd, and stay away from our ventilators if you’re hospitalized.”

The video ends with an imaginary commenter from Oregon thanking China for a donation of medical supplies. The comment is based on the actual donation of 50,000 masks from Fujian Province to the state of Oregon last month.

“Terry, I’m here to thank you for your donation of masks,” says Andrew in a Periscope-like comment. “I am from Oregon State Emergency Management Office. We received a batch of masks donated by Fujian Province and gave them to people fighting against COVID19 across the state.”

“Well, thank you, Andrew. Good to know that our donations helped,” Terry-cotta says. “Please, do take care there, buddy.”

The governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, tweeted about the donation on April 28, thanking “Oregon’s sister state in China,” insisting that the state would “pay it forward” in the future.

Notably, YouTube is banned in China, so the audience for this video is the English-speaking world, with a clear emphasis on the United States. The animation is just one of many new videos released by Chinese state media over the past few months that seeks to change the narrative about China’s role in the pandemic. American politicians like President Donald Trump have insisted that China should be punished for the pandemic under the theory that it didn’t do enough to stop the outbreak which originated in Wuhan.

The effort by Chinese state media is clearly an attempt to sway American opinion and ironically takes a page out of the American playbook of exerting soft power through popular media channels. In the 20th century, the U.S. dominated the world as much through popular media like movies and TV as it did through physical force and guns—though there was plenty of the latter, to be sure.

Now it appears to be China’s turn to exert that same soft power in the 21st century, using new tools like YouTube, Facebook, and Periscope to get its message out during the New Cold War, even if those same platforms are banned in China. Terry-cotta may or may not take off as a popular media figure, but the idea behind Terry-cotta is going to be with us for a long time.

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