Protection masks 

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Protective masks sold in pharmacies

Nowadays, it has become unthinkable in the field of medicine not to have a particle mask. Indeed, the protective mask will ensure good filtration of the particles as well as of the various diseases transmissible in the air. Influenza, avian flu, SARS, Coronavirus, COVID-19, nasopharyngitis and bronchiolitis are, for example, diseases where wearing a mask can significantly slow down the transmission of viruses between people .

Discover our range of protective masks in your pharmacy.

The surgical mask or "3 ply mask"

The most used is the surgical mask, which is also called a 3-ply mask often used in the medical environment by doctors, surgeons and dentists. This mask avoids projections. Indeed, it is not intended to protect "the wearer" of the mask but to protect the patient or the people with whom the wearer is in contact. For example, the surgeon will use it during an operation so as not to infect the patient or else a sick person could use it at home so as not to contaminate the rest of the family. But it offers only weak protection to the person who wears it.

The FFP protective mask with or without valve

The FFP protective mask is one that offers one of the highest filtration. They are classified by 3 grades (or rather 2): FFP 1, FFP 2, FFP 3 *

* FFP 3 is in fact only a reinforced FFP 2. It is more a trade name than a degree of protection. Indeed, medical personnel in contact with patients infected with dangerous viruses such as Ebola, SARS, H1N1 or even more recently Coronavirus (Covid-19) wear FFP2 masks. It is therefore generally reserved for healthcare professionals rather than the general public except in the event of an epidemic in which case it might be useful to wear an FPP2 mask.

The general public barrier mask

This general or alternative mask is made of washable fabric and can therefore be reused several times. It does not have the same degree of protection as the surgical or medical mask, which is found in pharmacies. And even less effective than the FFP2 or FFP3 type respiratory mask used by medical personnel. However, it meets standards. It can be made by hand (handmade from tutorials or patterns available on the Internet, distributed by the Afnor or the CHU in Grenoble for example), three folds or "duckbill", but also industrially.

Community pharmacists are authorized to advise, dispense and sell two categories of protective masks reserved for non-sanitary uses, recently defined by the public authorities:

  • Individual masks for use by professionals in contact with the public. They are intended for staff assigned to positions or missions involving regular contact with the public (category 1:> 90% filtration efficiency of the 3μm particles emitted)
  • Masks with collective aim to protect an entire group wearing masks (category 2:> 70% filtration efficiency of the 3μm particles emitted)

These two types of mask meet specific technical specifications in terms of filtration efficiency and breathability, and are identified as such on their packaging. They can be for single use or reusable after washing. They must be worn in the same way as surgical masks, within the limit of 4 hours.

Anti-Pollution protective mask

The anti-pollution protective mask is not used in the medical context because it does not offer protection against viruses and bacteria. It can be used on construction sites or in town in the event of pollution. it is often used by cyclists. It may contain a replaceable carbon filter.

How to choose your protective mask?

There are several types of protective masks. Each of them has its own characteristics and depending on the use and needs you must know which mask to choose whether you are an individual or a healthcare professional.

The protective mask, also called "anti-virus", for medical, "surgical", anatomical, type "duckbill" is a medical device intended to filter bacteria and to avoid contracting a virus, such as that of the flu or other viral illness.

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