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How to Identify Real and Fake Surgical Masks

The Novel Coronavirus continues to rage. Now we may use one or more masks every day to prevent the virus from spreading and protect ourselves from becoming infected.

We believe that now fellow sisters must have known more about surgical masks. However, recently we learned that some clients of fellow sisters attempted to sell masks to them. Under the circumstances that surgical masks are still not widely available, it is not impossible that fellow sisters just buy from the clients before gaining a thoroughly understanding on the products.

Surgical masks consist of three layers: outer, middle and inner. Each layer has its own special function. When purchasing a surgical mask, it is best to get one with BFE (bacterial filtration), PFE (microparticle filtration), and VFE (virus filtration) functions.  At present, it is best to choose a mask with 99.9% or 95% VFE / BFE / PFE, only 99.9% or 95% BFE / PFE is the next best!

In addition, we also do not recommend fellow sisters to buy masks from unknown sources, such as home sales or online resale (excluding direct purchases from manufacturers).

There are also news stories about people selling re-packaged second-hand (used) masks in the market. Most of these masks are with obvious stains on the surface. Even if they have been washed, the ear loops may have lost their elasticity.

We can test the authenticity of masks by:

1) Water Test

The outer layer of a surgical mask is designed to be waterproof. Fold your mask such that the outer side forms a funnel and pour some water into it. The mask should be holding up the water properly. Touch the bottom of the funnel and make sure it is not wet or damp.

2) Fire Test

Disassemble the mask and burn the middle layer with fire.  If it catches fire, it means that you have a bad mask.  The middle layer of a surgical mask should be a filter, not a piece of paper. Therefore, if you light it with a flame, it WILL NOT catch fire!

AFRO would like to remind fellow sisters to buy surgical masks only at registered pharmacies or stores with good reputation. Otherwise, they not only cannot prevent the spread of the epidemic, but also increase the risk of infection.

Wish you all good health!

Reference: 

Genuine or Fake Surgical Masks - 3 Quick Tests to Find Out!

Genuine or Fake Surgical Masks — Water Test
Genuine or Fake Surgical Masks — Fire Test
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