When it comes to wearing a mask, you want to feel confident that the mask you have chosen can protect you from dangerous pathogens. With so many different masks on the market boasting their different filtration claims and material types, it can all become overwhelming — not to mention challenging to know which mask to opt for. In this article, we'll explore how ASTM ratings make the task of choosing the right mask simple, and you'll be able to check your own mask against these standards.

Are you wearing the mask that protects you best?

THE LEVELS OF ASTM MASK STANDARDS

ASTM International, formerly known as American Society for Testing and Materials, is an international organization that develops and publishes technical standards for a wide range of products, materials and services.

In fact, ASTM International sets the international standard in healthcare for optimal practices in pathogen protection. This includes testing and requirements for the performance of personal protective equipment (PPE) materials – including masks.

There are three levels of ASTM-rated masks, each level offers a different amount of protection from pathogens. 

ASTM LEVEL 1

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ASTM Level 1 masks are often referred to as low-risk, low fluid transfer procedural masks. The fit and filtration on these masks are often poor-to-moderate. ASTM International indicates that these masks offer minimal protection, and higher-level masks should be used in environments where fluid resistance is required.

ASTM LEVEL 2

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These masks are intended for environments where fluid transmission is higher and more protection is required, such as operating rooms. The closer fit to the face allows additional protection and fluid resistance. 

ASTM LEVEL 3

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The highest-rated masks by ASTM standards offer the highest level of protection from fluids and the highest levels of filtration to protect wearers from airborne pathogens or inhalation of smoke and fumes. These masks offer significant protection against airborne transmissible diseases.

Point.1 Nano Masks are an ASTM Level 3 rated mask.

Heading into the winter months, public health officials continue to urge the general public to consider protecting themselves and others around them by wearing a mask in indoor environments.

Highly transmissible respiratory viruses like COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and influenza are quite prevalent during these colder months.

When shopping for masks to protect yourself and your family, be sure to opt for masks with ASTM Level 3 rating to maximize the protection the mask will provide.

Point.1 Nano Masks are an excellent choice for protecting yourself and your family from airborne viruses this cold and flu season, as they are ASTM Level 3 rated.

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THE 4 F's TO CHOOSING THE RIGHT MASK

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FILTER

When you’re in an environment where airborne pathogens or inhalation of smoke or other irritants is possible, you want to opt for a high filtration mask. This means opting for a high-level ASTM mask.

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FLUID RESISTANCE

Whether at risk of simple bodily fluid exposures like particles from sneezing or coughing, or more complex fluids like blood or other bodily fluid splatter, wearing a recommended ASTM Level 3 fluid-resistant mask is critical.

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FIT

The fit of your mask is vital for protection from pathogens; if a mask does not fit snugly to the face, the advertised filtration capabilities are drastically reduced. Adjusting the ties of the mask or using a mask clip will allow you to adjust the mask to optimally fit your face. For children, opt for masks that are made specifically with their sizing in mind.

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FEATURES

Securement features, such as loops, ties, or mask clips, can assure a closer fit to the face and offer further protection. Anti-fog film, foam, paper tape, or adjustable straps on the nose of the mask can offer a closer fit and less fogging when wearing glasses or eye protection.

THE MASK THAT MEETS YOUR NEEDS

The Point.1 Nano fibre mask is a non-woven polypropylene nano-fibre mask that allows for easy breathing and high filtration of airborne particles. Filtering at a near-atomic scale, the nano-fibre filter measures 0.1 μm (micrometre) and blocks harmful substances with an efficiency of up to 99%.

The Point 1 nano-fibre mask is certified to have a Particulate Filtration Efficiency of 99.38% and a Bacterial Filtration Efficient of 99.75%. The samples were tested using ASTM F299 test methods. You can review the certification completed by Kinectrics here

Our mask offers a high level of protection against pathogens while sitting comfortably (but snugly!) on your face and allows you to breathe easily. The masks come large (adult) and small (child) sizes, and there are black and white options to suit your style.

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The choice is easy this cold and flu season. Whether you’re in the classroom, at work, using public transit, or just looking for that added layer of protection in crowded spaces, order your Point.1 Nano Masks today!