WHY WE ALL NEED MORE PROTECTION
THAN AN N95 OR N99 RESPIRATOR CAN PROVIDE

There are many problems with wearing a surgical mask, a scarf,
a cotton mask, an N95, or an N99 respirator.

THE INABILITY TO REMOVE VIRUSES

The first problem with all the masks relates to their inability to remove viruses (including Covid-19) from the air. Masks protect others from your coughs and sneezes but does little for you.

Scarfs provide minimal protection for you from COVID-19. They remove 79% or less of particles of 1 micron or larger (some viruses can be as small as 20nm which is more than 25 times smaller than 1 micron)*1

Surgical masks at best remove about 79% of particles of 1 micron or larger due to leakage (20% leakage). [whereas the penetration of submicrometer-sized aerosols through the (surgical) mask of filter material ranged from 25% at a flow rate of 5 L/min to 70% at 100 L/min.] ]*17

N95 respirators are only 95% (N99 at 99%) effective for viral particles larger than .3 microns. When you account for leakage due to poor fit or hairs caught under the mask, the effectiveness of the respirator drops significantly. For these larger particles, leakage can easily reduce their effectiveness to 80% or 85% for an N95 and 89% for an N99 respirator.*2

These combined effects significantly lower the effectiveness of the respirators or masks. At 85%, in a room that has COVID-19 in the air, the protection level is the same as if you remove your respirator for one breath every 30 seconds and take a full breath of infected air.

*NOTES:
  1. https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/best-diy-coronavirus-homemade-mask-material-covid/
  2. https://doi.org/10.1080/02786826.2013.829209 - Xinjian He, Effect of Particle Size on the Performance of an N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirator and a Surgical Mask at Various Breathing Condition

POOR FIT EQUALS DRAMATIC LEAKAGE AND UP TO 20% FILTRATION LOSS

The second major problem with respirators is getting them to fit correctly on your face, with minimal leakage. Even with careful adjustment, recent studies show that leakage is often as high as 15%.

Also, if you have even a single hair caught between your face and mask, you have just created a channel for the virus that is 1000 times bigger than the virus itself. This may increase the leakage well above 25%.

In contrast, when available, the HERO-1™ is expected to provide increased protection on the order of 99.99%. At this level of protection, you have to wait fifteen hours before you have effectively taken in one breathe of potentially infected air. The HERO-1™ is ecpected to almost eliminate leakage since it uses a positive pressure airflow mask system. This will be confirmed by an independent lab before product release.

EXCESSIVE HEAT AND DISCOMFORT CAUSES RESPIRATOR MISUSE

In addition to fit problems with respirators, excessive heat buildup and ensuing discomfort are serious problems when wearing a respirator like an N95 or N99. With every exhale, the wearer builds up heated air within their mask (an N99 is unbearable even for very short durations of even one minute).

After a few minutes, a person wearing the N95 mask will naturally react to the heat by either taking it off or cracking it to allow outside air in for cooling and relief.

In addition, recent studies show CO2 buildup of 2.5 to 3.5%*3 within an N95 respirator. That is a significant amount of CO2 for even a healthy person; causing potential dizziness, anxiety, and lightheadedness.

“You have the best solution I have ever heard of for today and the future regarding viruses.”

Mark Malek - 4/30/20

Managing Partner

Widerman Malek, Attorneys at Law

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