HOW TO SELECT AN ASTM MASK
As the manufacturer of medical grade, American-made PPE products, NYPPE can help you select the right ASTM mask.
Who wears an ASTM mask?
As you might expect, these masks are used most often in healthcare settings. ASTM masks are fluid-resistant and disposable protective equipment that create a physical barrier between the mouth and nose of the wearer and the environment.
How to wear an ASTM mask
What is ASTM?
ASTM stands for the American Society for Testing Materials. It is the global authority charged with developing technical standards for an expansive array of products, materials, systems and services. More than 12,800 ASTM standards are in use around the world, including ASTM F2100-11, the standard for medical face masks since 2012.
How do you select an ASTM mask?
ASTM masks – that is, those meeting the standard for ASTM F2100-11 – are available in three levels.
To determine a mask’s performance rating, ASTM tests the material used to make the medical face mask on five performance metrics, including bacterial filtration efficiency, sub-micron particulate filtration, differential pressure and flame spread. The greatest difference between the three levels is in the mask’s resistance to penetration by synthetic blood.
Based on the test scores, ASTM assigns a numerical rating for the barrier performance of the mask’s material. So choosing the right ASTM mask means understanding your level of risk or exposure and matching it to the barrier performance of the material.
Is selected a mask as easy as choosing 1, 2 or 3?
The following breakdown of Levels 1, 2 and 3 does make it fairly easy to determine which ASTM mask is right for your needs.
LEVEL 1 – Low Risk of Fluid Exposure
Level 1 ASTM masks are for procedures where low amounts of fluid, spray, splatter or aerosols are produced in low concentrations.
LEVEL 2 – Moderate Risk of Fluid Exposure
Level 2 ASTM masks are for procedures where moderate to light amounts of fluids, splatter, spray or aerosols are produced in higher concentrations.
LEVEL 3 – High risk of fluid exposure
Level 3 ASTM masks are most often used for procedures where heavy to moderate amounts of fluid, spray, splatter or aerosols are produced in highest concentrations.
Understanding ASTM levels of protection is Key
How do you know a mask’s rating?
Simply look for ASTM Level 1, 2 or 3 on the face mask package. Keep in mind that not all face masks are ASTM-rated, so it is important to check before you choose.
NYPPE strongly recommends finding protective face masks that carry the ASTM rating. This is the only way to ensure be sure you are getting the proper level of protection. Our goal is to help every American get the protection they need at a reasonable cost. To accomplish this, NYPPE manufactures and distributes our products with American labor at our plant in Buffalo, New York.
For additional information about ASTM surgical masks, contact NYPPE at (716) 371-1200.