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By now you’ve probably heard that N95 masks are the most effective face masks you can buy—but they should still be reserved for frontline medical personnel. Their cousins, KN95 masks, are readily available to purchase, however. And these Wenime KN95 masks are on sale for $30 (pack of 10), down from the original price of $36.
The mask’s six layers include an activated carbon filter to improve filtration, a moisture-wicking layer to keep you cool and a dual-engine filter. The one-way breathing valve helps with exhaling and minimizes moisture buildup. The masks also have an adjustable V-shaped clip for a custom and comfortable fit. Plush-like, they feel soft against your skin, and the contoured shape is designed to cause less pressure than other masks on the market, according to the company.
The biggest difference between N95 and KN95 masks are the authorizers. N95 masks are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) while KN95s are cleared by Chinese regulators.
“The basic difference is regulatory,” says Dr. Kavita Patel, managing director of clinical transformation at The Brookings Institution’s Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform. “KN95 masks are approved by Chinese regulators, and in theory they are similar to N95 masks, which are approved by the FDA but also likely to be manufactured in China. This means they keep out 95 percent of particles, which is essentially the highest filtration you can get.”
High-quality KN95 masks can prevent the spread of coronavirus as effectively as N95 masks. However, the FDA has removed its emergency use authorization for KN95 mask manufacturers after they were unable to filter out up to 95 percent of particles. Some are still authorized for use, and while it’s unclear if the Wenime KN95 masks fit within the FDA emergency use guidelines, they have six layers of protection and claim to effectively separate fine particles.
Of course, these masks should be used in conjunction with other COVID-19 prevention best practices, like social distancing, washing and sanitizing your hands, and staying at least six feet apart from others.
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