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What Are The Difference Between KN95, N95, P2?

Aside from the surgical face mask, popular masks worn in Australia for the purpose of covid prevention are the P2 face mask, N95 face masks and KN95 face masks.

Face mask restrictions have eased but it seems this modern-day accessory isn’t going anywhere just yet. In a covid-dominated world, face masks have become an integral part of our everyday lives and for many a workplace requirement we can’t leave the home without. But despite its normality there’s increased confusion surrounding mask terminology which may leave you wondering if you need a medical degree to make the right choice.

Do you know how they differ in their efficiency against Omicron?

If you’re looking for a mask that does more than just match your outfit, here’s what you need to know.

What are they and what do they do?

Face masks attract a wealth of different terminologies including ‘Filtering Face-Piece Respirators’ (or FFP) and ‘Particulate Filter Respirators’ (or PFR). Both umbrella labels for a multitude of varying products branded with numerous letters and numbers.

The masks are made of multiple layers of synthetic material, designed to filter out particles which will minimise the spread of airborne contamination through the nose and mouth. They all serve the same purpose, to reduce the risk of contracting or spreading the coronavirus.

The main difference between products is their certification, or where in the world it is produced which determines which mandatory testing it has to fulfill to be eligible to go on the market.

P2 face mask

The Australian and New Zealand standard for Respiratory Protective Devices is called AS/NZS1716. Prior to becoming an everyday face mask worn by the public, it was most commonly used in the construction industry to minimise the inhalation of dust particles. Along with the N95 face masks, they’re also recommended by the government as the face mask of choice when exposed to smoke from bushfires. The ‘P’ rating relates to the particle size it filters, with the P2 face mask promising to filter at least 94% of airborne particles.

Other points of difference relate to what is measured when undergoing tests to meet certification mandates. Unlike the N95 face masks, the P2 face mask is required to conduct a ‘fit test’ in order to be certified and approved for sale. This is where the air inside and outside of the mask is tested, as well as measuring how well it fits to the face. The product must also fit within guidelines for ‘exhalation resistance’, which refers to the ease at which a user can breathe out. This means manufacturers must test the P2 face mask for carbon dioxide clearance to prevent build up from inside the respirator.

Juice Promotions stock the P2 face mask, and in a colour to suit every mood! Masks include the Tensil Auto Filtering Mask FFP2 and the Auto Filtering Mask FFP2 Color Tensil (available in Black, Blue, Grey or Pink).

N95 face masks

N95 face masks are the US equivalent of the P2 face mask, it’s an American/Canadian classified face mask certified by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health or NIOSH. The ‘N’ stands for ‘non-oil’, meaning it’s suitable for environments that do not contain oil particles, which makes them fine for the purpose of preventing or spreading covid. The number ‘95’ in the name refers to its efficiency rating – it removes 95% of 0.3 micron particles, compared to the P2 which removes 94%. The coronavirus is actually around 0.1 microns in size but is often attached to something larger.

Juice Promotions have a healthy stock of N95 face masks for both adults and kids. Adults have the choice of two types of mask, the TGA-approved N95 mask flat folded, or the TGA-approved N95 mask cup type. There are slight differences between the two as described on the website but essentially it comes down to personal preference.

KN95 face masks

KN95 face masks are certified by China and are the equivalent to N95 face masks and the P2 face mask. As the name suggests, they filter out 95% of 0.3 micron particles just like the N95 face masks. KN95 face masks are aesthetically quite different in that they allow a larger space between the mask and face, providing more breathing room. Like the P2 face mask, KN95 face masks must also undergo ‘fit testing’.

There’s a huge market for face masks with many poor-quality options and fake versions of authorised products like the N95 face masks, KN95 face masks and the P2 face mask. Make sure you buy your mask from a credible source. And whatever you decide to choose, the most important thing to remember is that they will only be effective in preventing and spreading covid if it fits your face properly.

Jane Whitelaw, Certified Occupational Hygienist and fellow of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH) told ABC News that “if you put a respirator on and your glasses or sunglasses fog up, then that’s an example that it’s not fitting correctly”.

Juice Promotions stock KN95 face masks, feel free to contact them to find out more about the product.

The surgical face mask – how does this compare to the KN95, N95 and P2?

The surgical face mask is the blue disposable mask that was once mainly seen in a doctors or dental surgery. Their job is to protect the nose and mouth from large droplets and fluid and they come in three levels of resistance. Level one is acceptable for general patient care. Level two and three masks are preferred during procedures in which there is a risk of body fluid splash. A surgical mask can be worn for up to four hours as long as it is still functional, i.e. it doesn’t become moist or damaged.

Cloth face masks, surgical face masks, KN95 face masks, N95 face masks and the P2 face mask…
Still unsure which face mask to choose?

Essentially, the KN95, N95 and P2 are more effective at protecting yourself and others from the coronavirus due to the design. They fit better to the face which lessens the space for air droplets to exit/enter. Surgical face masks and cloth masks act more as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ but still provide better protection than not wearing a mask at all.

There is really no need to choose just one type of face mask. You could have a few different varieties depending on where you are and what you’re doing. You might have a stash of surgical face masks in the car that you can grab when you’ve forgotten your preferred P2 face mask. Or you might wear KN95 face masks for work and cloth masks for when you’re out and about.

Juice Promotions has an extensive range of face masks in stock. In addition to the N95 face masks, KN95 face masks and the P2 face mask, they have a range of TGA-approved surgical face masks and reusable cloth face masks to fit all budgets and tastes. Check out their products page to see the full range. For more information, free to contact their friendly team to enquire about products, obtain a quote or place an order: [email protected]

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Ultimate Guide to Bulk-buying COVID-19 RAT That is Approved In Australia

By this point, it’s highly likely that you’re familiar with the RAT test (Rapid Antigen Test). Testing ourselves and our families has become a normalised duty necessary in limiting the spread of COVID-19. To buy Rapid Antigen Tests is as easy as buying your bread and milk these days but how much do you actually know about the product?

Can you tell the difference between an approved test and a fake?

Do you know what the sensitivity ratings mean?

Whether you prefer it up the nose or in the mouth, it’s never going to be fun and most would rather avoid it. But if you need to buy Rapid Antigen Tests then it’s best to get up to speed so that you can choose the right product and gain the benefit – here’s your ultimate guide to buying the Rapid Antigen Test.

How to know if your Rapid Antigen Test is approved by industry standards

It’s understandable to assume that RATs are going to do the job they’re made to do but when you buy Rapid Antigen Tests do you check to see that what you’re buying is certified and approved by industry standards? If not, then they may not be up to scratch.

There’s a huge variety of COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests on the market but unfortunately, like any product in demand, there are many dodgy outfits scamming buyers with fake products. When you buy Rapid Antigen Tests, check to see if it’s approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). This means it meets industry standards and you’re good to go. In Australia, there are over 40 approved products. You can find a list of them on the TGA website.

Rapid Antigen Test sensitivity ratings explained

For a RAT to be approved to sell on the market, it must meet performance requirements set by the World Health Organisation (WHO). One of these ratings is for sensitivity, which refers to the accuracy of the test in identifying the virus. This is based on how many individuals test positive for the RAT compared to the more sensitive Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test.

‘Acceptable sensitivity’ means that from positive cases who test using this product, at least 80% of them receive a positive result.

‘High sensitivity’ is at least 90% of people, and

‘Very high sensitivity’ is higher than 95%.

You can find the sensitivity rating on the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the product.

Saliva versus nasal RATs – which to choose?

When the time comes to buy Rapid Antigen Test, you may wonder which is best to go with – the nasal or saliva, but it largely boils down to personal preference.

Infectious disease and Microbiologist Paul Griffin says that nasal swabs are usually more sensitive than the saliva tests because “typically we find higher amounts of virus in the nose.” For families with young children, the ‘lollipop test’ has become popular. It’s less intrusive than the nasal and therefore not as uncomfortable, meaning the child is more likely to keep the swab steady for the duration of the test, which may produce more accurate results.

There are ongoing studies into how different tests compare, and presumably updated research will reveal new information as life with Covid continues, particularly when new strains appear.

The most accurate time to use the Rapid Antigen Test

Don’t delay in using a RAT, according to Paul Griffin. He says the tests will deliver the most accurate results when used within seven days of symptoms presenting. “If people are symptomatic,” said Paul, “they often have more virus present in their nose or mouth…so rapid tests perform better.”

How to store your Rapid Antigen Tests

Like medicine, these products come with recommendations on how to safely store them. This is particularly important if you are buying in bulk. Keep track of expiration dates and don’t be tempted to use them if they go beyond this date.

Store the kits in a cool, dry place (2-30c), keep them out of direct sunlight and never freeze them.

It may be a good idea to store the Rapid Antigen Tests in the same place as your medicines since they should already be in a suitable environment and out of reach from those wandering child hands. Also, don’t leave the RAT tests hanging around, once you’ve removed one from its protective packaging then use it immediately to avoid contamination.

The importance of an expiry date

Everything has an expiry, RAT tests included which is why it’s important to only use the product within the expiration date. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), COVID-19 test kits are typically authorised with expiration dates of four to six months after they’re made. This is due to the components degrading over time, potentially affecting the diagnostic’s performance and accuracy. But this is an estimate expiration dates are set conservatively due to how new the products are. It’s common sense that the product would need to be around for a good few years before accurate dates are provided.

Juice Promotions has an expansive range of premium approved RATs, available in stock and ready for shipment. Here are a few options:

Clungene Rapid Antigen Test

Juice Promotions stocks the Clungene Rapid Antigen Test, a nasal RAT with five tests per box. They are of course TGA approved with a very high sensitivity rating. With a minimum order of 1200 there’s plenty to go around!

JusCheck Oral Fluid Rapid Antigen Test

When looking to buy Rapid Antigen Tests another option is the TGA approved. Just check Oral Fluid Rapid Antigen Test, a non-invasive saliva test with a high sensitivity rating. This has a minimum order of 480 with one test per box. It’s different from the ‘lollipop’ test in that it requires a ‘cough and spit’ action rather than a swab.

Innoscreen Rapid Antigen Test

The Innoscreen Rapid Antigen Test is a TGA approved nasal test, Australian-made with an acceptable sensitivity rating. These have 20 tests per box and minimum order of 500. For over 17 years, Juice Promotions has been a leading vendor of promotional products and more recently, PPE.

They service a range of global and local clients to deliver an extensive range of TGA-approved Rapid Antigen Tests, and also supply gloves, face shields, sanitisers, plus KN95, N95 and P2 surgical masks. They are proud to be supplying such crucial products which help protect our workforce and wider community.

Juice Promotions products are in-stock and ready to ship now, there’s plenty of options to suit everyone. Contact Juice Promotions to buy Rapid Antigen Tests, or to enquire about their many other products.