Beyond Covid-19: Face Masks Have Moved On From Being Speciality Protective Gear To Daily Essentials

The only perceivable benefit of the pandemic was that it made everyone acutely aware of how important masks are. Face masks began to see widespread usage and adoption as the primary measure of mitigating infection risk. However, a notable portion of the global population now sees masks as essential. With daily exposure to a range of air pollutants, it’s hard to argue against the benefits of a P2 or an N95 face mask. Some find it difficult to tell the difference between the two. That’s understandable, considering the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. These are some of the things you should know about them.

The difference between a P2 and an N95 mask

Both kinds of masks are, essentially, the same. The only difference between the two is the place of usage and the need for some additional tests. A P2 face mask sees more common usage in Australia and, thus, needs to meet Australian standards, i.e. AS/NZS 1716:2012. N95 masks see usage in Western countries and, consequently, go off other standards and requirements. Both kinds of masks need approval from either the TGA or the FDA.

Additionally, to get certified as ‘P2’, manufacturers need to conduct fit tests on real people and check for ‘CO2’ clearance. That means preventing the buildup of CO2 inside the mask. N95 masks don’t have this requirement. These masks are the same in the context of air filtration capability. There are no definitive advantages of purchasing one over the other.

With that out of the way, you should have some of your other questions answered.

Common questions regarding face masks

Even now, people still have a lot of questions regarding masks. Currently, though, these questions have less to do with whether they are needed. That’s already been established. Instead, the queries are regarding some other primary concerns.

Won’t a regular mask do just as well?

The problem with a regular face mask is that it isn’t effective. On the other hand, a P2 or an N95 face mask are meant to filtrate the air you breathe. In terms of effectiveness, they are way beyond the scope of a regular cloth mask.

How many should you buy at a time?

When purchasing such face masks, a good rule of thumb is to buy them in bulk. Considering that these masks are disposable and need to be operating with maximum efficiency, it’s best to use new ones regularly.

If you are considering buying a pack for yourself, go for an option that gives you twenty-five of these masks in one package. For a larger organisation or company, ordering in massive quantities will be more efficient and cost-effective.

Will mask usage see a drop after Covid-19 is completely gone?

It isn’t easy to give a definitive answer to that. You must consider that most people don’t view masks as they did before. In 2020, 90% of Australians supported the use of masks in public spaces. It’s been two years since then. Still, with the number of studies on global mask usage, it would be wrong to say that people will stop using them anytime soon.

The consensus is that masks aren’t just to help reduce infection risks. It allows you to breathe better.

In summary

It doesn’t matter whether you’re working in a potentially hazardous environment or just doing some work on your car. Face masks will help in almost every situation.

The real question is, how many do you need to buy?