In this blog, I’m going to look at three kinds of face masks, to be clear, they are all disposable and they are all protective. Be wary of washable masks, you could wash your tissues when you sneeze and they get dirty, but you’re more likely nowadays to throw them way, because its safer and cleaner to do so.
There are multiple international standards and names for face masks, some are identical while others are similar. As an example, in Europe, Respirator Masks are graded as FFP1, 2 and 3. Taking just the FFP2 mask, these are described as KN95 masks in China and N95 masks in the USA; while Japan, Korea and Australia have their own local names/standards for the roughly the same masks.
In broad terms, masks can be identified by the direction in which they protect, by the level of particles they filter and by their level of liquid/droplet repellence. Masks that protect the wearer from the outside world are subject to inspiration tests, whereas masks that protect the outside world from the wearer are subjected to exhalation tests.