Face mask power-ups – three filters to increase your protection

face mask facemask protection COVID-19 coronavirus
Credit: Unsplash

Before this year, I never would have thought that I would be considering the type of mask I should be wearing out in public. There are so many different types and with differing views on what is best, I have to admit to being quite confused. I have spent time wondering if my cloth mask from the CHARGE Syndrome Foundation is enough. Should I be using some type of insert that filters germs and pollutants?  

I know there are pretty heated debates over the mask issue…wear them or not, N-95 or the flimsy paper cheap ones, and so on. I’m not here to argue whether or not to wear a mask or tell you what type of mask is the best. I still am not sure but what I do know is that there are a  number of companies that are providing extra protection if you’re looking for it. If you are part of the higher risk group or have family members or friends who fall into that category of our population, perhaps you’d feel better knowing that there is an extra level of protection available.

After searching for additional precautionary measures, here are three options that I found: 

Filti Nanofiber Mask Inserts ($19.99 for 20)

Filti’s Face Mask Material uses a patent-pending Nanofiber technology and is highly-efficient (up to 95%) on sub-micron particles, including bacteria and viruses. Each insert measures 4in x 6in and easily fits into any mask. Manufactured in the USA, Filti’s material is not electrostatically charged and is mechanically efficient. Additionally, the materials do not contain fiberglass or any other harmful materials and the airflow is 60 pascals DP at 5.33 cm/sec face velocity at 32 liters per minute. Interestingly, Filti also offers facemask material in 21 sq. ft. ($29.99 to make 50-80 inserts), 107 sq. ft. ($99.99 to make 250-400 inserts), and 215 sq. ft. ($189.99 to make 500-800 inserts) sheets, composed of the same Nanofiber technology. These inserts are very thin and easily fit into all of my masks.  

Adult PM2.5 Activated Carbon Filter from Getien ($16.95 for 20)

Made of activated carbon and non-woven filter cloth, these 4.72 x 3.15-inch mask inserts effectively remove a range of airborne contaminants (e.g., Haze, Allergies, Pollution, Ash, Pollen, Gardening, Crafts, PM2.5, Vehicle Exhaust, Woodwork, Pollen Allergies, and Fumes). They are compatible with most masks, especially those with a PM2.5 filter opening. As with all filters I have reviewed, the filters cannot be cleaned and should be replaced when a film or sticky sediment stains emerge (see CDC Guidelines).

FiltersFast.com RZ Replacement Mask Filters ($7.95 for 3)The RZ Mask F1 Standard Activated Carbon Replacement Filters are specifically designed for use with the RZ Mask Reusable Masks. That’s the downside of these filters. You must first purchase a specific type of mask. With an outer filter layer that traps air particles down to .1 micron in size and a second layer (the activated carbon filter) that effectively removes both fumes and odors, this high-quality filtration technology prevents 99.9% of air pollutants from entering your lungs and nasal passages. The recommendation for this 3-pack set of F1 Standard Activated Carbon Replacement Filters is for general-purpose projects and/or outdoor recreational activities. The lifespan of each F1 filter is 20 to 30 hours in heavy dust exposure, 30 to 40 hours in light dust exposure, and 50 to 60 hours when exposed to allergens, dust, odors, and other types of pollutants.