What&39s the difference between KN95 and KF94 masks?

Because the Omicron variant continues to drive speedy unfold in Canada, consultants and public well being officers are as soon as once more driving dwelling the significance of carrying a correctly fitted medical-grade masks to forestall transmission of COVID-19.

However with N95 masks in brief provide and largely reserved for health-care professionals, a rising variety of retailers are promoting KN95 and KF94 masks as alternate options.

These masks—extra generally known as respirators within the medical realm—are more practical at filtering out particles within the air, prompting a rising variety of consultants and public well being officers to suggest their use over material masks.

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Opposite to some claims on social media, KN95 and KF94 are usually not “knock off” N95 masks. So, what’s the distinction between the 2?


With regards to respirators, the quantity related to the mannequin signifies the filtration efficacy. Each the KN95 and the KF94 masks come very near the extent of filtration present in an N95 masks—they’re merely totally different equivalents.

The KN95 masks is the Chinese language equal to the N95, each having 95 per cent filtration efficacy.

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The KF94 masks is the Korean equal, with a 94 per cent filtration effectivity for filtering out particles 0.3 microns in measurement, in keeping with Dr. Gerald Evans, chair of Queen’s College’s infectious illnesses division in Kingston, Ont.

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“Each of them are regarded as to be equal to the N95 which can be designated right here in North America, and within the ‘N’ there stands for NIOSH, which is the Nationwide Institute of Occupational Security and Well being,” Evans informed CTVNews.ca

“The one factor that is actually totally different is that the N95 masks has two elastics that go round your head… the KN95 and KF94 have the ear loops that we’re used to seeing on material masks.”

For reference, an everyday blue surgical masks has a filtration capability of about 80 per cent, offering that it’s fitted to the face effectively with out an excessive amount of gaping on the sides.

However right here’s the place match—a very powerful element—is available in.

Whereas the N95, KN95 and KF94 masks boast excessive filtration capacities, their effectivity is solely based mostly on the way it matches.

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In medical settings, docs are put via “match checks” to make sure their masks has a seal. This consists of checks like smelling one thing via the masks (if you happen to can’t odor one thing you need to have the ability to odor and not using a masks the seal is working).

As a result of vary in form, measurement and size of ear loops, not each mannequin of respirator goes to suit correctly on each face.

“I don’t imagine there have been any checks to match which is healthier, however the extra essential side is which gives a greater seal across the nostril and mouth,” Stephen Hoption Cann, an knowledgeable in infectious illness prevention on the College of British Columbia, informed CTVNews.ca by way of e-mail.

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“The KN95 is extra of a chicken’s beak form vs the KF94 is a bit flatter.”

Brian Fleck, professor of mechanical engineering on the College of Alberta, says the effectiveness of masking comes right down to primary engineering.

“When a filter isn’t very effectively fitted… the best way stress and airflow works it goes via the trail of least resistance,” Fleck defined over the telephone.

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“Typically, if the air can discover a manner across the filter, a whole lot of it would. So, you possibly can have a particularly efficient filter materials, but when the air isn’t compelled via it, it’s not as efficient.”

Fleck notes {that a} good check when carrying a masks is to placed on a pair of glasses—in the event that they fog up once they breathe or are available in from outdoors, the masks isn’t producing a correct seal.

“For individuals who need to be protected, in different phrases, they need to scale back the variety of particles they breathe in, they need to actually take note of how their masks matches their face,” he mentioned, noting this goes for each medical-grade masks and material masks.

“Discover the masks the place it doesn’t matter what you’re doing the elastics are tight and it’s not letting any air escape across the edges. In any other case, you’re actually simply carrying it for optics.

Hoption Cann says it must be famous that many masks which can be offered as KN95 or KF94, when examined, fail to satisfy their marketed filtration efficacy.

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Well being Canada, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Middle for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) present data on approved merchandise in addition to these discovered to be insufficient.

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