Australia is the largest country in the continent of Oceania. However, it is considered a transcontinental country as some islands are associated with the Asian and Antarctic continents.
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted everybody in the world, including Australia, to wear a face mask for safety. It’s a must-have item that you should always carry with your keys and phone.
So, here is some information you need to know about the N95 mask in Australia:
What is a P2 Mask?
A P2 mask can also be an N95 face mask. These are masks that help filter fine particles like dust in smoke. For full effectivity, the masks must fit exactly how the manufacturer instructs.
P2/N95 masks should tightly seal your face. However, some instances may not warrant a tight seal, such as for people with beards or children.
State governments in Australia actively distribute Commonwealth-provided P2/N95 masks to health services and pharmacies affected by bush fires.
Why is it Important to Use a P2 Face Mask?
P2/N95 masks can filter ultra-fine particles when properly worn. They are effective and efficient in preventing exposure to smoke and poor air quality.
Main Difference between P2 Masks from N95 Masks
P2 masks are essentially similar to N95 masks. However, there are some minor differences.
P2 masks are rated according to New Zealand and Australian standards. They are worn primarily in the construction industry.
The letter “P” in the beginning stands for the size of particulate matter that the mask is capable of protecting from.
Australia and New Zealand have standards for Respiratory Protective Devices which are:
The RPDs categorize particulate hazards into three:
N95 is a classification used in America and Canada, set by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.
The “N” rating is the most common classification used worldwide. They are best used for dry dust, including metallic dust, flour, coal, pollen, wood, and water-based aerosols.
Three categories come with the N rating:
- N95. These masks can prevent 95% of air particles with 0.3 microns in size.
- N99. They have 99% effectivity against 0.3-micron particles
- N100. These masks are 99.97% effective against 0.3-micron particles.
The main difference between P2 and N95 masks is the testing and certification practices used. However, they look similar and can filter almost the same amount of particles, with only a 1% difference. Essentially, P2 standards are used in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and Korea. The testing method used for P2 standards tests filtration against a 95-litre per minute flow rate versus the US’s 85 litres per minute.
How to Properly Wear a P2 Mask
It is important to take your time in knowing which size of the mask is the best fit for you. Before using a P2/N95 mask Australia, ensure that it properly fits you.
Doing a fit check will ensure that you can seal the mask over the bridge of the nose and mouth. It also allows you to feel if there are any other gaps to address.
Procedure for Wearing a P2/N95 Mask
- Remove your glasses, hats, and other accessories. Tie your hair back so it does not become entangled in the mask strap.
- Put the mask on your face, right side up. Feel the nose piece and ensure it is properly placed on your nose bridge.
- Secure the straps on your neck and on the back of the head.
- Compress the mask against your face so that it forms a seal on the nose bridge.
- Check if the mask fits comfortably on your face. There should be no gaps, dents, or leaks; otherwise, you can still inhale dust particles. If the mask doesn’t fit, get a new size.
These days, knowledge about masks is important. Wearing a mask is more than protecting your health. It is also protecting the people around you.