- Wear N95 or KN95 masks to reduce COVID-19 incidence.
- Buy masks that are lab-tested by a third party.
- Avoid masks with substandard packaging or those sold loose.
The US recorded two million infections during the last week of 2021 due to the Omicron wave. With no solid data about the severity of the variant yet, such high infection rates could bring the US economy to a grinding halt – and it could get even worse.
While vaccines could save lives and prevent hospitalizations, reinfections and breakthrough infections in fully-vaccinated people could give rise to more dangerous variants that could bypass the protection offered by current vaccines. A collection of studies encompassing nearly 400,000 participants found that wearing protective masks could reduce COVID-19 incidence by a whopping 53 percent.
Although the global vaccination drive is in full swing, billions of people are yet to be vaccinated. As such, the best thing we can do is lay low, get our booster shots, and limit our outdoor activities as much as possible. If you need to head out, make sure to wear reliable protective masks like the N95 and KN95 masks.
N95 and KN95 masks are known to offer 95 percent protection against airborne particulates as small as 0.3 microns. With so many counterfeit masks currently making the rounds, though, it would be important to know how to tell them apart.
CDC Guidelines to Identify Authentic N95 and KN95 Masks
N95 masks are regulated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), while KN95 masks are authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Here are some guidelines to identify authentic protective masks:
- Check for a NIOSH approval number on the mask or imprinted on the packaging. You can also cross-check the number against the NIOSH database to verify its legitimacy.
- Check for forged logos and spelling mistakes that somehow get past compliance.
- Don’t buy masks that are sold loose or those that come in substandard packaging.
- Make sure that your masks come with user manuals.
- Although you might be tempted to buy fashionable and colorful masks, fabrics like sequins with unapproved modifications could mess with their filtering efficiency and even render their warranty void.
This Online Store Conducts 3rd-Party Lab Tests for All of Their Masks
WellBefore is an online store that offers all kinds of PPE, including verified face masks, face shields, gloves, gowns, and disinfectants. They are all available at reasonable prices with the option to avail of extra discounts on bulk purchases. They aim to ship your orders within 48 hours of receiving your purchase order.
WellBefore also conducts their due diligence through third-party lab tests before listing them on their online platform. When you click on the mask of your choice, you can view the NIOSH or FDA approval number or patent number if any, as well as the lab test results, features, and available sizes. Multiple images are also available to help you narrow down your search. So far, WellBefore has over 240,000 happy customers and 12,000 product reviews with an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5.