What are FFP2 masks like and how long do they last?

The pharmacies of the Community of Madrid have launched the mask distribution campaign today, not without criticism and a cloud of questions around them. From this Monday, and within a period of 15 days, with the health card or DNI the people of Madrid will be able to go for theirs. These are KN95 FPP2 masks that, as indicated by the Community of Madrid, if used correctly “provide an acceptable level of protection against particle inhalation”.

“These are very useful masks when progress is made in the different stages and citizens find themselves in a situation where for some reason the safety distance cannot be properly kept,” the region has defended in a statement.

But how long do these masks last? The Community of Madrid reported that these protections are reusable, so they should not be thrown away after use. The Executive of Isabel Díaz Ayuso has transferred that they have a useful life of use superior to the surgical ones: 48 consecutive hours. “It can be used on different occasions over several days when you are going to be surrounded by other people,” they maintain from the Community.

The technical characteristics of these masks show that they have a 92% minimum filtration efficiency, and a percentage of leakage to the exterior that does not exceed 8%. In addition, it offers protection against non-toxic residues, such as dust, aerosol fluids and smoke.

In practice, they are used to protect against low or moderate toxic sprays. It is also used by those health workers who work in isolation areas or those who work with confirmed or suspected cases of SARS-CoV-2 (better known as coronavirus).

During the first day, until 12 noon, a total of 242,966 masks have been distributed, through the nearly 3,000 pharmacy offices in the region, without “notable incidents” having occurred, according to regional government sources.

The Autonomous Executive chaired by Isabel Díaz Ayuso has acquired 14 million KN95 masks (type FFP2) for distribution free of charge among the population in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Sanitarians have criticized the measure and defend that it is not the best option for the self-protection of citizens. «Continued use makes breathing difficult, uncomfortable, and in some people, not tolerable. Its use in the general population will encourage people to touch their faces more frequently and remove their mask by not being able to breathe comfortably, favoring the risk of contagion, “they emphasize. .

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