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Review Article

Face Masks in the New COVID-19 Normal: Materials, Testing, and Perspectives

Table 1

Comparison of commercial mask types, performance, and use cases.

TypesBFE@
3.0 μm
PFE@
0.1 μm
Fluid resistance (mmHg)Delta P mm H2O/cm2Flame spreadUse case

N95≥99.9%99.9%160>5.0Class 1aUsed when treating patients with diseases such as TB, measles, or influenza.
ASTM level 3≥98%≥98%160<5.0Class 1aUsed for procedures where heavy levels of aerosols, spray, and/or fluids are produced.
ASTM level 2≥98%≥98%120<5.0Class 1aUsed for procedures where light to moderate levels of aerosols, spray, and/or fluids are produced.
ASTM level 1≥95%≥95%80<4.0Class 1aUsed for procedures where low levels of aerosols, spray, and/or fluids are produced.
Utility mask (low performance)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AUsed as a simple physical barrier for dry, short procedures without fluid, spray, or aerosols.
Utility mask (minimum performance)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AUsed as a simple physical barrier for dry, short procedures without fluid, spray, or aerosols.

aClass 1 flammability requires an average burn time of ≥3.5 s [77].