And one even kills viruses on contact.
In this article, we're going to be looking at some of the innovative new face masks out there to see if they can be used as an improvement on what we've already got.
PhotoFast AM9500 Intelligent Air-Purifier
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Right out of the box, this mask is a little bit different than the others, because it has a fan right on the front of it. In theory, you shouldn't have to work as hard to breathe while wearing this mask.
The PhotoFast AM9500 mask is sort of like a supercharged surgical mask.
Although it's not approved by NIOSH as a respirator, it is approved by the FDA for splash resistance.
The PhotoFast AM 9500 filter is the same type of material as an N95. Although it isn't an N95, it does provide a nice amount of features aimed at making mask wearing safe and comfortable.
It has a quiet fan at the front, making breathing easier and air feel fresher. A charge will last three to eight hours. There are three speeds to this fan. So, if you have it on the highest speed, you're probably going to be closer to that three hour range versus keeping it on the lowest speed will be closer to the eight hour range.
The fan is very quiet, but be aware it does create some muffling of your voice between the materials of the fan and then also the fan itself. So it's a trade-off.
The other nice factor with this mask is that you can put the fan unit into whatever mask you prefer to use. The cover that comes with the mask is a suggestion but it'll work with a variety of cloth coverings.
Lastly, if you get tired of the fan, just take it out and you're left with a traditional, cloth face mask.
After testing out this mask, here's where I think it would be really useful:
- For anyone who has trouble breathing through masks, such as someone with asthma or other lung conditions, the fan overcomes the need to breathe through the fabric, so you don't have to spend extra energy just trying to breathe.
- People have anxiety around wearing anything that can obstruct breathing.
- And lastly, it's great for air travel.
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The PhotoFast AM-9500 for Air Travel
If you've got a long day of flying in airports ahead of you, the air gets stale. It's a really long time to wear a face mask, and it doesn't feel good by the end of the day. The PhotoFast AM-9500 is a nice compromise.
When you get tired of wearing the fan, you take it out and you're just wearing a cloth face mask.
Overall, I'd say it's a nice upgrade on a traditional face mask with some really great features. If you'd like $30 off, check out the link below. This next mask is pretty much the exact opposite.
This is the ReadiMask. It's a mask for a minimalist, but that doesn't mean it's light on features.
For what it lacks in bells and whistles, it makes up for in simplicity and functionality. Let me show you how it works.
Basically what you've got is an adhesive strip that goes around the outside. You peel that off and put it on, using the adhesive to gently form a seal.
This is the lightest one on the face of any that we're trying out today. It also muffles sound very little.
I've put it on my face a couple of times with and without makeup. I find it sticks really well and also doesn't leave like weird lines in my makeup.
It also comes off really easy.
The glue is still sticky and you can wear it again. Basically you can put it in your pocket and put it on later in the day. It's about as simple as face masks get.
Also, the RediMask doesn't stick to hair and is non-irritating.
Now you may be wondering, can something this simple actually be effective?
Well, the reason I included the RediMask it has a NIOSH approval as an N95 respirator, which they have right on the front of both sizes of the packages, so you know the approval number and it's easy to look up.
That means this mask actually seals well enough to be considered an N95 respirator, although it still does require fit testing in work settings.
It also has a few benefits over a traditional N95. One is that you can be more assured of getting a good seal. It's very light and comfortable on the face. Lastly, it takes the least amount of storage space of any mask I've seen.
As an industrial hygienist, I think there's less potential for user error with this mask because you aren't depending on stiff fabrics or headbands to make sure you get a tight seal.
It's like an N95, only simplified.
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There are a lot of masks out there on the market that are clear, but this one is actually called the ClearMask™.
I included this one is it's light, it's comfortable, and has added benefits that might not be clear when you first see it - no pun intended.
Part of the frustration people have with face masks is that you can't tell people's expressions. This may not be a huge problem in some workplaces, but in customer service, childcare, and hospitality, it's a big deal. Not only because of what you can see, but also because of what you can't hear. Hearing loss is prevalent throughout America. In fact, one in eight people over the age of 12 has hearing loss in both ears and many people actually depend on lipreading, especially in noisy environments like restaurants, shops, or busy offices.
Not being able to see people's expression not only inhibits auditory communication, but also inhibits visual communication as well. This mask solves those types of communication problems.
The ClearMask™ is also light, fog-free, and is fluid resistant according to ASTM Standards.
When you're wearing it, you don't feel like it's a lot different than a surgical mask, but the reactions that you get from others tend to be more positive.
In my opinion, this mask serves best as an alternative to a surgical mask in roles where communication is key.
The last mask that we're going to talk about today is maybe not the most exciting looking, but it has some of the coolest features.
The Respokare® N95 is a NIOSH approved N95, so it blocks 95% of small particles, can be used, fit tested, and worn in all the same environments as other N95s.
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It looks, acts, and feels like an N95, but it's special.
Although all NIOSH approved N95s have to be able to block 95% of small particulate, they don't have any other special features besides being a very finely tuned filter.
Since masks act as a filter, they're always collecting whatever you can't breathe in on their surface. And when you touch your mask or set it on a surface, you're contaminating your hands, the surface, and anything else you touch, potentially spreading the virus.
The Respokare® N95 is different.
There's an antiviral layer that captures and inactivates 99.99% of flu viruses, meaning no infections or viruses will live on the mask's surfaces. It also helps to block a lot of other smart particles and aerosols you don't want to inhale.
Rather than acting like a typical N95, it's a new and improved N95.
Not only does this one have NIOSH approval, it's also FDA approved, so it's good to use a medical environments as well.
I hope this video helps you out when you're evaluating new masks for your workplace.
Let me know what you thought in the comments below!